Another week, another slew of Apple TV rumors…only anticipation of Richard Sherman's post-Super Bowl interview created as much excitement last week.
But, this time, sleuthers might be on to something. With Apple TV suddenly getting prime real estate on the Apple Store website and continued announcements of new content channels such as Red Bull (famous for Stratos and recently the big wave Mavericks Invitational), the much-discussed new Apple TV hardware may be on its way.
If this is indeed the case, what should we expect?
Apple has traditionally been late to the party, but when they do arrive with an offering, they typically make a splash and their patience has often affected the landscape in a material fashion--though one not always embraced by the Street.
iTunes has established a digital content marketplace. The App Store has established a digital app marketplace. The iPhone and iPad have moved our consumption center of gravity to a mobile one. And the Apple TV has proven to be a silent Trojan horse for the living room with numbers--after years of speculating--far surpassing the prior connected device king, Roku.
With Microsoft, Google and Samsung aiming for the living room, Apple needs to establish how/where/when it (Apple TV) interfaces with the consumer. This will likely be an opportunity that lifts all participants in the Apple TV landscape. But, like Apple's tradition of "doing it their way" (HLS, the App Store, Objective C and FireWire), it doesn't mean it won't be proprietary, semi-closed or uncommon.
If Apple can placate the key participants in the current paid TV ecosystem (providers and Pay TV operators) while creating new economics for the media and entertainment business, it will succeed in positioning itself as the connector and will easily replicate its prior success through disruptive technology aligned with business models that satisfy the old and new guard.
When I look into a crystal ball about the new incarnation of Apple TV, I see content owners forced to focus their energies on this new offering and consumers eager to adopt the latest tech. And at Brightcove, we will focus on helping all of our publishers to be successful by providing the right tools and best practices for Apple TV development and delivery.
I'll be back with more to say once the new device is finally unveiled. Stay tuned!