Are you excited about the upcoming Apple TV device, which has been talked about, analyzed and reported on for several years now? It seems that the topic has been making media outlet rounds, both online and off- for an eternity in Internet years. On the one hand, it’s no wonder, given the massive scope and impressive ambitions Apple reportedly had with this project at first. However, according to reputed news source The Wall Street Journal, the reality of this upcoming device is beginning to shape up rather differently from what was initially imagined. In the following, we take a look at what has changed, what the original intentions were, and what the world at large should expect from the Apple TV.
The Wall Street Journal story starts from this very point – content and media on the upcoming Apple TV. It’s a big point, too, for, you see, at first Apple envisaged content redistribution directly from all the major media companies. The plan was to offer viewers just what they wanted in terms of content, power it all via the Internet and package it up in a sleek, masterfully designed set-top TV box. This, of course, would have meant that Apple TV would become a direct competitor of all the big cable TV service providers; an arguably noble plan. However, the situation now looks different and it appears Apple has decided it can’t yet afford waging such a head-to-head battle.
According to the afore-mentioned report, Apple’s current plans for the upcoming Apple TV involve negotiations with at least two of the major media companies on the global market. In other words, Apple is planning on working with content providers, not against them. Its programs would be delivered by cable companies, which, in this equation, would fulfill the duty of purchasing programming rights from the media companies. Apple does not plan to buy the rights itself, say sources close to the business. Perhaps in the future it might consider such a course, but, for the time being, its market conquest plans look all but forsaken.
Where are the changes in vision for the upcoming Apple TV coming from?
As one might be tempted to guess, this change of course came from a string of failures. Apple tried repeatedly to negotiate with the major media rights holders – trusts such as CBS and Disney. They attempted to convince them to offer broadcast rights directly to Apple, for online programing purposes. The negotiations saw Comcast, Time Warner, and DirectTV, among other cable TV and satellite service providers, thrown out of the loop. Yet it was the media providers that threw the proverbial monkey wrench in Apple’s plans, by withdrawing from the discussions, time and again. As one might assume, the media producers rightfully feared that, by engaging in negotiations directly with Apple, they might lose their direct clients, thereby endangering the future of one of their massive sources of income.
What other plans for Apple TV died along the way?
As some of the more astute observers of this project may have noticed, Apple started off big, with its plans for the upcoming Apple TV set. It wanted to allow its users to watch any show at any time, via its iCloud platform – this would have effectively erased the difference between live shows and pay-per-view, or on-demand television. It also wanted to let them skip over commercials aired in broadcast breaks. In doing so, it wanted to pay media companies more money, since it believed the ads were only driving viewers away. Sounds too good to be true? Unfortunately for the viewers, it actually turned out to be like this, but, in terms of what the future holds for Apple TV, we can only wait and see.