Friday, February 1, 2013

Apple: Any Deals For Media Has To Revolutionize TV, Otherwise, No Point

Apple is always negotiating for content with rights owners so I don’t think I’m breaking my “no rumors” pledge when I point out Bloomberg’s post about Apple negotiating with HBO to bring content over to the Apple TV.  The reason I’m bringing this up now is because from what’s being talked about, it makes zero sense from Apple’s perspective unless it’s about making a few pennies here and here.

See, Apple is a company that prides itself on big changes.  The kind of changes that wows the world.  Apple is the type of company that wants to bring a product to you and me and say, “thanks, Apple.  I didn’t even know I needed this until you brought it up”.

So, what we know about the HBO talk is that Apple is looking to bring HBO Go to the Apple TV so that users can watch HBO shows on it.  Great.  With me so far?  The only thing is that the deal being worked on doesn’t cut the cord.  Users still have to have cable or satellite TV services in order to access HBO’s contents.

How does that help those of us who don’t want to beholden to Time Warner, Charter, Dish, or anyone else who forces us to buy bundles of channels we don’t want or care for?

I will see the HBO app icon on Apple TV taking up valuable screen real estate, get annoyed by it, and skip right over it because I don’t want to sign up with Charter.  I have enough to watch on Netflix, Hulu, and even Redbox Instant.

So, why is Apple even negotiating with anyone about putting HBO Go on Apple TV?  A lot of people feel the same way about cord-cutting like myself.  It is possible that Apple is trying to get a small piece of the pie from HBO and providers for making it accessible on Apple TV.

And should this become a success, I see other channels and providers following HBO’s move in this respect if a deal is struck.  Apple is brilliant for working with HBO on this.

Again, why?  Well, Apple wants to sell hardware.  Apple TV, iOS devices, and maybe the unicorned Appled HDTV.  Unfortunately, I don’t see this helping Apple selling TV at all.  Millions of us are not going to pick up an Apple product to access HBO or other contents if we also have to have cable/SAT TV services.

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