Under the headline, “Why the Apple iTV will change everything,” Digg’s Kevin Rose posted a glowing forecast of the next-generation Apple TV device, which is due out as early as next month. Rose said it will likely have an app store that’s similar to the iPhone/iPad, which means you could punch up your ABC app on your TV and watch “Lost” in 720p. Same goes for local TV stations that offer their own video apps.
Rose also writes that the iPad will turn into “one big badass remote control” that lets you control the iTV and extend the viewing experience, like watching other camera angles.
“This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry, as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an internet connection,” writes Rose. “Say goodbye to your monthly cable bill.”
Rose might be a bit ahead of himself, as network content providers aren’t going to kick cable to the curb anytime soon. Or the affiliates. And set-top boxes, as standalone devices, take a very long time to reach market penetration (TiVo, anyone?) But it’s Apple, and if it does gain some traction, it will certainly throw a wrinkle into the matrix.
Local broadcasters, for example, may feel more compelled to produce web-original video — something that never really took off because the consumption never paid for the costs to create it. But distribute that same clip on the web, iPhone app, iPad app and iTV app, all in a consistent sponsored experience, and that may — may — be enough to jump-start new digital programming efforts in local TV.
Your thoughts on iTV in local markets?
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So often most of what I read about local TV's future revolve around clinging to the status quo of scarcity. It's usually some person with their net worth or career tied to keeping the local media landscape tied to a rear-view mirror. But this article is refreshing. Unfortunately, I think they buried the lead.
I don't think Apple iTV will change everything. First and foremost the TV industry has not shot itself in the foot as badly as the music industry had when Apple rolled out iTunes and iPods. But the real news in this article is the local app strategy for local tv. This seems to me to have real potential. And I don't think the local apps all have to content-driven. Imagine, for example, a local app that I could use to ask and find the best deal on anything I'm looking for. Find me the best deal on a new pair of running shoes...there needs to be an app for that!