As the Consumer Electronic Show approaches, the “pre-game” show includes some buzz about Internet Television (ITV). We’re beginning to see better signs of a more mainstream evolution from “lean forward” to “lean back” consumption of video. It’s a race from the office to the living room and bedroom.
Even “post Jobs,” Apple is the most common buzz beneficiary. But a recent USAToday piece confirmed the challenges Apple has had with securing content deals — a far cry from how the company mobilized in the music industry:
“The problems Apple is having securing content deals were described in an interview with a person who worked in the Apple TV group and verified by two television industry sources.”
The trailblazer has been GoogleTV/Samsung, and Microsoft continues with its Xbox approach. While the Rokus and Tivos were early movers, I’d expect the true rivalry to ultimately occur between television manufacturers and cable providers, since “it’s a race to the living room.” While early adopters are comfortable with alternative devices and streaming from their computers, most Americans are overwhelmed with the prospect of using any device that’s not “standard issue” by their cable provider. But most televisions are now coming with web access, and that’s underexploited capacity.
Back to Apple after its lackluster AppleTV launch. Can it reinvent? The good news for Apple and other players is that we seem to be adding more TVs per family than ever.
“I do expect Apple to make an attempt,” says Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, “since I expect the living room to remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making.”