Posted on January 8, 2013 by John Houghton.
There is much talk this week at CES about Apple and it’s mysterious plans for TV. I have some insight here as my company has been specialized in mobile video for 7 years and more recently, mobile apps. If you’ve shopped for a TV recently, you’ll see that many/most of them are now “smart” TVs as they are platforms for mobile apps.
Here’s the problem with adoption. The old way people watch TV is they like to pick up the remote and surf channels. After flipping through, they find something they like and set a date with the TV or record it via DVR. Most cable companies offer this and it’s considered old school.
The new way Apple has set up is people get on their Apple TV, look through titles of shows, watch previews and then purchase or download their TV show or podcast. I do it a lot but I haven’t see this take off just yet.
Sometimes I watch people flip through channels, commercials and all, and I suggest they could download their content and watch it commercial free. A lot of people don’t seem to be willing to give up the experience of flipping through channels. People like channel surfing because that’s the way it’s been done for decades. Maybe it’s relaxing for them to do it this way.
Here is an idea for Apple. Take your millions of hours of TV Shows and create a set of channels that run along the lines of people’s interests. Let users flip through (like channel surfing) and if they stay for more than 30 seconds, they need to buy it to watch more, or watch it for free but with advertising. Doing it this way provides a transition to downloaded content for people who like to surf. It also provides a way for users to opt into highly targeted video advertising.
Then come the TV apps. For users that like TV based apps, they can buy the app, watch their favorite “TV show” then afterwards tweet about it, play the video game, buy the merchandise and hang out with others who feel the same way. This would drive deeper engagement and make the users happier. Your thoughts?
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