When Apple TV started shipping in March of 2007, hopes were high. Most of us technology and advertising fanatics were expecting the device to revolutionize the industry (or at least enhance it). Since its launch, Apple TV has been widely viewed as a disappointment, but it’s only a matter of time before the Internet and the living room TV collide.
Gene Munster, industry analyst from Piper Jaffray, has been “calling” a revamp of Apple TV since last August and again this past week. In articles posted on CNNMoney.com and MediaPost.com, Munster predicts three major advances to come, most notably “iTunes TV subscription pass potentially replacing consumer’s monthly cable bill.”
While none of Gene’s predictions have come to fruition just yet, MacRumors.com does report, “Apple will be changing the name of its Apple TV set-top box product to ‘iTV’ as part of a major revamp later this year.”
In a press release this past May, Google began notifying the world of their plans to partner with DISH network and “seamlessly integrate[s] multichannel television with rich web media content.”
Apple, Google and some other lesser-known players are on the move to make a play at the next generation, “connected TV”. According to a recent New York Times article, “People under the age of 45 were about four times as likely as those 45 and over to say Internet video services could effectively replace cable. ”
To me, the notion of a “connected TV” means that I won’t have to pay $100/month for cable, if all I want to watch is ESPN, Seinfeld and a select few other shows. Why are we all paying for hundreds of channels of content we don’t and will likely never watch?
TV watchers are experiencing more and more a la carte consumption opportunity. As Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and iTunes continue to grow and provide more access to the shows and content we want, it’s only a matter of time before that content will become seamlessly accessible on our living room HD plasmas.
According to Rishi Chandra of the Google TV team, the average American watches 5 hours of TV per day. In addition, $70 Billion dollars are spent annually in the US TV advertising market alone.
Technology continues to allow consumers’ content viewing habits to evolve allowing them to live “entertainment on-demand” lifestyles. Given consumers growing on-demand consumption habits, the opportunity for brands to integrate into and create their own branded content has never been more necessary. Ask around, you may be surprised to see how many friends have already evolved and “cut the (cable) cord”.