Backing Into Apple Television
M.G. Siegler

  1. Apple is never going to release a television set, a box with a screen and a tuner of some sort. That model of television is ten or twenty years out of date. That’s a hardware guy’s fantasy. Apple is a software company that sells hardware to run their software on.
  2. Apple TV does a good job of unifying television, but no one has come up with a good discovery process. Netflix is inscrutable. Amazon used to have a discovery mechanism similar to the one they have for books and other products, but they removed it. Apple isn’t much better with its iTunes mishmash.
  3. I think there are two types of television watching, just as there are two ways of listening to music or reading. There is the intentional, where you know what you want to watch and there is the incidental, where you browse and see what catches your eye. They’ve solved the former case, but no one has solved the latter case. The cable companies never solved it either.
  4. I don’t think Apple is going to war with Netflix, Amazon, HBO and the like. They might become rivals as they start producing more material, but all the parties are trying to get the viewer’s attention. They are displacing the old radio and television networks.
  5. Apple video might serve as a gateway drug in that every Apple user has the relevant applications already installed and an account for accessing video. A new video service might want a deal with Apple to break into the market, but the big guys are already visible.
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