Apple announced their new Apple TV. Along with the news came the statement from company CEO, Tim Cook, “We believe the future of TV is apps.” I respectfully disagree, or at least disagree under the definition of television, as it exists today.I imagine Apple’s future of the television is more of a hybrid experience between on-demand entertainment, shopping, and information through applications. A merger between television and computer that is more intuitive and user friendly than hooking a TV monitor up to your computer, or those bizarre internet TV keyboards you could find in hotel rooms. The best definition of modern TV I have found is as follows, a device that can broadcasts programming, record to a DVR, and offers shows that are available on demand through. I believe future changes would mirror more that of the music and movie industry.
Less than a generation ago, if I wanted to purchase a song, it was assumed I would be going to a retail store, paying upwards of $20, and purchasing the entire album including the desired song. Along comes iTunes a few years later. A way to buy and download any song you want from the comfort of your computer, and NOT have to buy the entire album. Although I don’t believe it was necessarily Apple who first offered songs, legally at least, al a Carte, it planted a seed in people’s minds. It was the inception of “I should only have to pay for what I want.”
Today cable and satellite providers want to overwhelm you with “value.” Their front loaded promotions promise you the moon and stars. For only $24.99 a month- you can watch over 200 channels! For the first 12 months of course, some exclusions apply, void where prohibited, offer not valid in Canada. Well, I don’t need or even want 200 channels. I want the basics (which are free anyway over digital antenna) ESPN, and HGTV for my wife. That’s about all I need. I want to be able to watch them on demand too.
If television as we know it today wishes to continue, I think they might find themselves forced to pus more al a Carte offers, just like the music industry of the 90’s. After all, there is very little programming that people really care if they watch live (news and sports really), and companies like Netflix and Hulu are giving people an out of their cable and dish handcuffs.
For Apple’s future of TV to come true, all cable and satellite providers really need to do is the same thing they continue to do. With no change to how the system functions, I see companies like Time Warner Cable and Dish Network going the way of the dodo bird within a decade. People will be clicking on the CBS app on their Apple TV to watch The Big Bang Theory-that will still be on in 10 years, right? To learn more about cutting your cable, please hop over to a brilliant blog post by our own Will Campbell.