Don’t block up the hallways
You see, as available Apple TV content is rapidly becoming more interesting than that available via standard broadcast and cable channels, incumbents are rapidly losing control of the eyeballs their businesses are based on. Switched on digital audiences know they get more choice and better quality from streaming services.
News channels know the score
They can’t wait for cable and broadcast firms to pick up on the transformation and are already migrating to where the eyeballs are. It’s worth noting that iOS users (within which I include Apple TV) are likely to be among the most engaged audiences on these new services, based on previous patterns.
No wonder we’re seeing such rapid activity in this space. (This is happening globally, even in Russia). Here’s four key points in the last few days Apple TV users need to be aware of when they think about the future of broadcasting:
Apple improved Apple TV with the release of tvOS 9.1.1 this week, introducing a Podcasts app to the set top box, enabling viewers to watch a huge range of interesting podcasts and vcasts across a huge range of topics drawn from around the world.
Introduced this morning, Watchup offers a huge host of interesting international, national, and local news content from over 160 sources
Sources include Bloomberg, PBS, CNN, CBS Interactive, Financial Times, Fox News, Fusion, Sky News, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and more. The app also offers local news from over 100 TV stations representing more than 80 percent of all US markets. And it provides content from The Verge, Vox, CNET, Gamespot, AJ+, Eater, and others.
“When confronted with the changing reality of media consumption publishers ultimately know they need to embrace new models to preserve their journalism in the years ahead,” Watchup founder and CEO Adriano Farano told me this morning.
What’s great about the app is it lets users build personalized channels (you can even have these built channels delivered to you at scheduled times, replacing Fox New entirely).
This isn’t the first exciting announcement for Apple TV owning news addicts in the last few days. Al Jazeera’s AJ+ media network launched a curated app channel this week. Available in three languages, Arabic, English and Spanish, the app offers in-depth, unique and interesting coverage of world events and is bound to appeal to TV watchers seeking something with a little more depth and integrity than some major news channels.
It’s also worth thinking on how solutions such as Fresco’s citizen journalism app could become an incredibly potent force in challenging the hegemony of US news broadcasting. Think how it opens up a new way anyone equipped with off the shelf video capture and editing equipment (such as iMovie and a smartphone) can now capture and share essential happenings with people who are already motivated to look at this kind of news, as they have downloaded these channels – not only this but larger news outlets may even rebroadcast your footage (for a fee).
Why do these things matter?
Ultimately it’s about the fracturing of existing broadcast models. Now, we all know Apple wants to offer its own streaming TV services, but has been frustrated in this attempt. It is understandable existing incumbents in the space will resist, but their resistance can’t last much longer.
Because Apple’s own media offering in combination with innovative new solutions like Watchup, AJ+, Fresco and existing media entities (particularly Netflix) already extant on Apple TV mean many viewers are already abandoning conventional broadcast for these experiences. And yes, this isn’t a new trend, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Xbox, Nintendo and others are also active in this space, but I think Apple TV will become the mass market set top box champ.
“Personalization is the future of TV news, and Watchup for Apple TV fulfills that promise with custom made newscasts, a seamless user experience and an unparalleled breadth of content,” said Farano, who hopes to extend his service internationally in future.
“Apple's launch of a developer platform will ultimately be even more disruptive than the opening of the original App Store back in 2008,” he told me. “If apps are the future of TV, personalized newscasts are the innovation the video news ecosystem has been needing for so long.”
I argue the momentum supports Apple’s claim that the future of TV broadcasting is emerging, one app at a time.
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