If Apple TV is a hobby it’s a hobby that appears to have been neglected by Apple’s collective powers that be, those same executive who view the world differently than competitors, and a worldview and long game approach to most new products and existing products. Neglected hobby? That’s not so easy to argue against, is it?
Television Leisure Time
Apple TV circa 2016 is something of a growing platform with a sufficient number of applications and functions that one would think it’s more of an evolving product than it is a hobby for company executives and engineers to dabble in from time to time. Dabble?
A Hobby is a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time. Hobbies can include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements. A list of hobbies is lengthy and always changing as interests and fashions change. By continually participating in a particular hobby, one can acquire substantial skill and knowledge in that area.
Let me do some slicing and dicing of the hobby salami here. I cannot vouch for how much enjoyment Apple’s executives and engineers get from messing around with Apple TV, and it’s not likely to be a leisure time activity, but it definitely ranges into creative and artistic pursuits, and compared to competition and the changing TV industry landscape, one could call it amusing.
Also, note that a hobby takes up time and often changes, but prolonged activity in a hobby can help one to acquire substantial skill and knowledge. That sounds something like Apple’s efforts with Apple TV, right?
What’s New Is Old Again
There seems to be a trend toward streaming TV services and so-called skinny bundles of TV shows that are available from within an app. Sling TV, CBS All Access, and many others come to mind. AT&T has announced DirecTV Now with 100 channels and a cable TV cord cutting price of $35 a month. Sounds good until you realize all they’re offering is a streaming version of cable TV subscriptions from 30 years ago. What’s new is old again.
What’s missing with all these new streaming TV channels, subscription prices, and applications is what viewers want. The television industry players and Apple are trying to force feed their version of the future– which feels more like yesteryear with skinny bundles and single channel applications– onto viewers.
What do we want? The future is on-demand. We demand all TV shows and all movies available on any device, anywhere, and at anytime. I’m willing to pay for a package that does that. Or, I’m willing to collect the apps that can make that happen and pay accordingly. But until it’s all TV shows and all movies on any device, anywhere, at anytime, then it remains the same old same old.
Maybe Apple is playing a long game with the Apple TV hobby, and maybe Apple’s TV platform will expand beyond Apple TV to become more choice and selection on more devices anywhere, anytime. But for now Apple TV just looks like an expensive hobby with not enough of anything to get me to move it from HDMI 2 to HDMI 1 on my TV.