Looking For Apple To Solve The 'TV Experience Sucks' Problem

As Apple keeps wowing investors and consumers with its technology and performance, what remains? It’s still about TV.

Apple TV -- the streaming device that works to connect the internet to traditional TVs -- is fine for now. But going further we continue expect more -- true integration of traditional TV, video on demand and digital media.

We continue to seek the reaction when Apple put prime-time TV shows on the Internet in 2005 through its iTunes Music Stores in a revolutionary deal with Walt Disney. It was an “ah-hah” moment.

Can Apple still do that for new media experiences? In these days, eye-opening experiences are hard to come by. Yet consumers will buy into new Apple stuff, just because its promise pretty much has delivered.

Now Apple is looking at a true standalone streaming TV service -- like what Dish’s Sling TV and CBS’ All Access has done. And what HBO, Sony, Viacom and a bunch of others are mulling.



Increasingly, however, industry observers believe any new Apple’s new cloud-based TV service won’t be of the “revolutionary.” That might go double for a still possible in-the-future Apple television set.

A few years ago when Apple was dabbling in a potential TV service, it spent time talking to traditional TV program distributors -- cable companies and the like. Now, with the freedom that seems to come from cloud-based, streaming only services, Apple is honing discussions just to TV content/program producers.

All that would seem easier -- in fact, a throwback to when it was thinking about having consumers download TV shows from its iTunes Music Store -- not just music: Go to the content creators.

Still, the hope is Apple could do more, integrating traditional TV viewing with all the new stuff that digital media platforms offer.

Why do we have some fleeting belief in all this?

Because Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, continues to want to “crack the code” of TV. Also what Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet software and services at Apple reiterated at an industry event what we can imagine many around Apple headquarters have groused: “The TV experience sucks.”

That’s a good starting point.

4 comments about "Looking For Apple To Solve The 'TV Experience Sucks' Problem".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, February 6, 2015 at 12:42 p.m.

    The technology is clearly available and here. Consumers, viewers, and national advertisers know this. Legacy TV broadcast networks fear technology and what that may bring to legacy business models built over decades of corporate lobbying and they wonder why mobile does not monetize well. The right major broadcast network that can think of technology as a “game changer” and embrace it, will enable them to connect the dots to monetize content over the mobile and digital.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 6, 2015 at 3:21 p.m.

    Technology, notwithstanding, none of the streaming services are going to attain critical mass in terms of subscribers until they find a way to develop and offer significant doses of "quality" content, not just a worthwhile show, now and then. This was painfully evident many years ago when PPV was heralded as the emerging substitute for the "pap" that TV was pouring out. The problem was that PPV didn't have anything like enough good stuff to woo hordes of viewers day after day, let alone, hour after hour. The networks have been trying to develop lineups of "decent" fare for decades, using some of the best talents in Hollywood and elsewhere, yet they rarely succeed----exceptions like "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "Gunsmoke", "All In The Family", "Seinfeld", etc notwithstanding. It's just not that easy.

  3. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, February 6, 2015 at 5:57 p.m.

    Wheres the huge "problem"? I think what Apple is discovering is that TV viewers have small frustrations. No technology can be revolutionary unless it solves important and significant problems. And what they can't ever solve is the "there's nothing on I want to watch" problem. That one is significant. But DirecTV has already partially solved this. And the DVR. And Google thought searching would solve it but it hasn' all. So I've come to conclude that Apple is doomed to failure not by technology, but because they're working on something insignificant.

  4. John Grono from GAP Research, February 6, 2015 at 7:34 p.m.

    I find using my TV remote much easier than using iTunes et al.

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