Monday, 16 January 2017

Apple Will Make Serious Moves Into TV In 2017


Apple TV has been a hobby for far too long. With other hardware streams proving difficult to maintain and an expectation that Apple will look to more lucrative service based revenue streams in the future, Apple's play for the living room has to be its big bet for 2017.

Apple TV has slowly been growing into a device with broader appeal as features have been added to its armoury. In fact its probably fair to say that it is one short leap away from the explosive growth that characterised the early years of other iOS devices: compelling, exclusive content.

Netflix and Amazon have both shown that they understand what's going to drive revenue growth and subscriber numbers and both are pushing hard with their own content creation efforts. Amazon's Grand Tour is a particularly high profile example of this. Apple can't rely on piecemeal offerings of other provider's content to compete.

What strikes me as interesting is that Apple didn't take on Clarkson / May / Hammond trio itself and use it as a platform to create its own content empire. It's something that Apple wasn't prepared to do with music. Choosing instead to pay out for Beats and build its streaming service on the back of what was already there.

That didn't prove to be an exceptionally astute decision, given the significant number of problems and complaints Apple Music generated after its launch. Does anyone really think Apple couldn't have done a better job of its service on its own?

The same is true for a TV service. With its own content Apple has a ready market of hundreds of millions of device owners worldwide, many of whom would lap up the opportunity to get their entertainment from Apple alone. Is it just too big a step for Apple to comfortably make?

If it isn't ready to go it alone then Apple needs to look at buying ready made service. Who could that be? Well, with Apple's war-chest, just about anybody from the BBC down.

Apple made a costly mistake in not reacting to Spotify quickly enough. If it doesn't make a serious move into TV in 2017, it will probably have made another one. 

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