It will be exciting for consumers -- and mark my words, a game changer for brands. First let's get some excitement off our chests from a user's point of view.
Now, you're probably thinking apps are already available on your living room screen via a Fire stick from Amazon or a Smart TV. Well, if anyone can figure out the clunky mechanism of getting apps on to my Samsung Smart TV without hunting for the user manual, I'd happily accept your help. I've found the whole process time consuming and severely limited by how many apps are available. It's a little like going on the Microsoft apps store when you upgrade to Windows 10 and finding very few of the big names you take for granted on iTunes are present.
You just know that Apple will make everything work instantly and automatically. You can say what you want about the "fan boys" and "fan girls" and how it's all hype. but until you've tried to set up another device you'll never fully appreciate the simplicity of plugging in a unit that works from the get-go with all your stuff as easily available as it is on your phone or tablet. I have obviously not had a chance to try out the new remote, but the mention of swiping makes you realise this will be a lot easier than working out which of the two dozen buttons on a tv remote you need to press to find an app, let alone launch it.
Amazon can lay claim to already bringing apps to the television screen, but the problem is that in my opinion, Apple TV owners are more likely to want their music, movies and apps from iTunes and the App Store on a television than they are apps download on a Fire tablet or Kindle. Besides, iTunes allows Amazon Prime and Music apps to be downloaded and accessed via Apple TV. For someone who has spent ages trying to find the right app on a restricted Samsung Smart TV library, the option of just plugging in a box and everything just working straightaway is very attractive.
So for me, Apple TV is making a lot of sense once, of course, you get over the price hike that is always there with any Apple product -- I'm still struggling with the manufacturer wanting GBP15 for a cable to link the box to the tv when it should, to my mind, be provided and can be picked up for a third of the price on Amazon.
It isn't just consumers who should be excited. Think of those branded apps on your iPhone or iPad. They now have the opportunity to shine on the big screen, and so those which limit themselves to just text and the occasional picture are going to struggle. Shopping via apps on the television will go mainstream among Apple TV owners, and people will expect to see good-quality demonstration videos. That means there will also be a massive new opportunity for native video advertising within content apps. Articles in the news feed that are "suggested" or "promoted" will need to adapt to be viewable on the big screen. and so will need some compelling video content to encourage engagement.
Three in four people told researchers the other day that they prefer to make gift purchases on the desktop, and I wonder what proportion would happily swap the computer screen with the even bigger experience of browsing on the living room television. It might not have an impact this Christmas and Black Friday season but this time next year, I'll wager we'll be adding tcommerce or tvcommerce to the well established ecommerce and mcommerce channels.