Television math does not favor Apple’s own branded television. The industry may be ripe for disruption, but as to TV’s there’s just no money to be made. Besides, the industry is too Balkanized with too many fingers in the pie for Apple to become a major player. Here’s the solution.
Getting In Bed With TV
What TV watchers want is rather simplistic and Apple is positioned to make it happen, but only if the company can herd all the cats into the aquarium (mixing metaphors is a hobby).
What do we want? TV on demand. Wait. Isn’t that already available with most large cable TV companies like Time Warner and Comcast?
Yes. And no. Some popular TV shows may be on demand, everything else still needs a DVR, or else you’re stuck to watching what you want when it’s available.
No, TV content on demand means everything– TV shows, news, sports, movies– on demand at the click of a button. The technology is there but a few crucial items are missing; problems without a solution.
First, there’s just not enough bandwidth. That’s why Netflix decided to ditch net neutrality and cut deals with the enemy (isn’t the phone company or the cable company everyone’s enemy?).
Second, everyone involved in the industry wants a cut of the profits, and that drives up costs, balkanizes the industry, and makes it next to impossible for anyone to disrupt the industry or even put a dent in the system.
Finally, what’s the solution? If Apple is to play and prosper in the TV industry, and we, as the viewing customer, are to get what we want with on demand content, the company needs to become the conduit and distributor.
Apple TV as a set top box sanctioned by the TV industry would be the conduit. Apple would also be in position to stream TV content, and provide an overlay for apps, games, and streaming entertainment, all while sharing a cut of the revenue pie with everyone else in the industry through rentals, online purchases, et al.
That way, Apple can avoid going head to head against the TV industry, a battle it cannot win. Instead, Apple and the TV industry, though making strange bedfellows, must come together to give customers what we want. TV on demand, everything, all the time, everywhere.
See? I just solved Apple’s big TV problem.