Every major technology gadget maker has a research and development group. R&D. Apple has one and spends more than $10-billion a year trying to figure out the next great thing. This might be where Apple differs from competition.
Apple has a hobby. It might be a profitable hobby. It might also be like fruits or vegetables in a garden or an orchard. It takes time for seeds to grow, they need to be cultivated, and some day they will yield fruit. It’s about time for Apple’s hobby to yield some fruit.
Regardless of the fruit or vegetable analogy we could use here, one thing is certain. Apple is working on TV. That means the company is about to introduce a new Apple TV, ostensibly with 4k video, but since Apple is all about the ecosystem, it needs some exclusive content to take Apple TV out of hobby status and into the real world of competition.
As it stands now, Apple TV as a platform seems anemic. There are apps and games and channels, oh my! But Apple TV’s price tag seems onerous considering the competitors combined do not cost as much as Apple’s hobby entry.
What Apple needs is altogether too obvious but all signs point to the right direction.
Despite the clumsy navigation interface and the stupidly designed remote control, Apple TV has plenty of apps. What is missing is what I call bundled content. Or, put another way, content that is exclusive to Apple. We see it elsewhere. Some music shows up on iTunes and Apple Music before is shows up elsewhere. Radio One is exclusive to Apple.
Word on the streets tell us Apple has a $1-billion war chest to create exclusive video content to compete with Netflix, Amazon, and any other technology company with deep pockets. Just recently Apple recruited a group of veteran TV executives from Sony, WGN America, Tribune Studios, and other content developers, ostensibly to put the taste of Planet of the Apps onto a shelf of history.
All these experienced executives are experienced at creating and managing content, and Apple has enough cash on hand to take Apple TV out of the hobby arena and into the major leagues of content development and distribution?
Apple has more than 1-billion customers with Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs floating around the world, and what better way to keep them within the comfy confines of the company’s ecosystem than with exclusive content.
Will it work? Or, will Apple send $1-billion down the drain? Time will tell, but Apple TV could be the hobby that became an industry leader. All we need is an Apple-branded streaming TV service with cloud DVR.
You know. Like Google.