Monday, December 10, 2012

The Antique in the Livingroom

Tim Cook, “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years."

Isn’t it interesting that while a phone is principally an audio device, it is virtually impossible to find a cell phone without a built in camera; whilst a TV is a video device but does not have a built in camera? As an audio device, the phone has become a primary tool for selling music. As a mobile internet connection, it has other uses but I think most of the revenue is in music sales. Although there are other media, the TV is the primary tool not only for selling video but everything else. Much of the rumor about why the rumored Apple TV set has yet to make an appearance surrounds resistance from the video content owners from doing a deal on Apple’s terms.

When Apple’s CEO, Mr. Cook, refereed to stepping back in time 20-30 years when he watches TV, he probably did not mean the screen (there is much speculation that although an Apple TV set will be state of the art, it will state of the art for current screen technology). Mr. Cook could have been referring to the lack of interactivity. But he may have been referring to the entire usage model including the content. Not just the videos, but the way the TV is used as a marketing platform. Much of apple’s business in connection with the iPhone revolves around purchased content. The ad-supported content market is much bigger. Certainly, the counter to a new Apple TV set oriented around purchased content would be one that could more generally serve as an advertising platform as the current TV set does but with a more net centric marketing approach. Although Apple may launch a curve ball or two in the hardware of an apple branded TV set such as a new aspect ratio, the big surprise may not be in the hardware or the software for that matter but in the content generation, a new way for marketers to pitch their product interactively.

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