Instead, Apple will do what Apple does best, integrate television into the ecosystem with a Trojan horse which you can buy right now. What? No Apple TV? Who needs it? Television is already coming to Apple.
Not The Cable TV Killer
We Apple loyalists all want the same thing. We’re happy to see Apple completely disrupt the television industry, specifically those blood sucking, money grabbing cable TV companies.
And, we want TV on demand. All of it. Current TV shows, movies, re-runs– all of it– on demand.
Yes, that’s easier said that done. If ever there was a Balkanized industry, it’s the entertainment world.
Every party engaged in bringing news, information, and entertainment to the masses gets a hefty cut of the money pie, and no one seems willing to let Apple do to TV and movies what they did to the recording industry.
Apple’s iTunes Store is the de facto king of music retail, and delivers more TV shows and movies to more countries than anyone else.
Why would a cable TV fiefdom give up their lucrative revenue stream just so we can put an Apple device between viewers and the cable TV box?
Why would Apple enter the television manufacturing business when it’s an industry notable for losing money hand over fist?
Instead of a TV, or simply buying up Hollywood and every cable TV company in the world (Apple has enough money to make a good down payment), Apple is building a Trojan horse with this difficult-to-ignore sweet treat which is attracting the flies of the industry- Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad.
Last week CBS interactive updated their iPhone and iPad app to include full episodes of popular CBS TV shows. That makes a major network available on your iPhone and iPad and television via Apple TV.
In fact, if you search for ‘television’ in the iTunes App Store you’ll see plenty of television apps– CNS, ABC, NBC, Hulu Plus, Netflix, The CW, USA Network, A&E, History Channel, and many others.
It’s not a full load of cable TV offerings, but it’s more than a trickle of the obvious trend– the content of television is coming to you. And, more specifically, to an iPhone or iPad or TV near you. Without the cable TV company.
For Apple, television is not an easy nut to crack. Every component in the chain that creates and delivers television programming wants a cut, and they’re not likely to want someone else (Apple) cutting in to take another share.
Instead, Apple has created an ecosystem of devices and capability that make it amazingly attractive for content providers, networks, and even cable TV operators, to engage Apple’s hundreds of millions of customers.
Apple still gets a cut, but it’s an indirect cut within the ecosystem’s revenue stream. What we get is mobile and home access to television content which could eventually marginalize the local cable TV company’s stranglehold on the audience, much as the iTunes Music Store slowly marginalized Walmart, Tower Records, Best Buy and others who once owned the retail CD scene.
We may want Apple to disrupt the entire video entertainment industry with some clever new device and lucrative content deals, but that’s not likely to happen. Instead, this disrupting revolution is taking place slowly, almost imperceptibly as Apple grows the ecosystem’s capabilities, and attractiveness to content providers and distributors who must engage Apple or be disengaged from the audience of the future.