Here’s Apple CEO Tim Cook, on Apple TV and tvOS, its operating system, during a recent earnings call with analysts: “Think of [this] as building the foundation for what we believe can be a broader business over time,” he said. “You shouldn't look at what's there today... think we've done what we want to do. We've built a foundation that we can do something bigger off of.”
Sure, hopes and dreams. Imagine a better way of navigating around the traditional TV and digital media world. And then come back to earth. We have been promised stuff before -- and been disappointed. Waiting a long time for a Apple TV set? Keep dreaming.
When Apple created iTunes, its content partners were music companies -- who had been in a bit disarray, in need of some new digital answers for growth. Are TV content owners or traditional pay TV providers in the same mess? Not exactly. They maintain leverage over new digital technology and device platforms.
All to say, if Apple does get into the “virtual” pay TV provider business, it won’t change the world. At best it will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.
One major continuing problem: Discovery of content -- traditional TV programs, new digital content, and everything else in between. Easily finding content on all devices and platforms continues to be an issue.
What consumers want is a clearer, easier -- dare, I say -- obvious choice, TV with a better interface, perhaps a Siri-like voice-controlled TV remote technology.
Maybe the next TV phase for consumers will be akin to a driverless car. It’ll be: “Take me where I want to go, avoid traffic and accidents, and, by the way, take me the fastest way.”
And then make those discovery algorithms even better -- and deeper. For example, viewers who run to sports and manly-focused programming may need a break sometime. Don’t offer them another Golden State Warriors game; tempt them with something like a cooking show. And dunk those meatballs.