Monday, January 7, 2008
The Second Coming of Apple TV
BusinessWeek is now reporting that more and more big time Hollywood studios, in this case, Warner Bros and Paramount and Lionsgate are in discussions with Apple to feature their movies on iTune's upcoming and rumored rental service for $3.99 a pop.
Apparently, these discussions are in the later stages and hopefully will be announced as early as next week, by Steve Jobs, at the annual MacWorld gathering in San Francisco. Not only are some reporting that Apple will, via iTunes, rent movies, but it will also be offering customers the opportunity to buy them if desired.
These newer discussions are basically the same as the recent deal that Apple concluded with both Fox Studios and Disney and it is further believed that the above studios are just the beginning, with many more to come later on.
Some, however, have speculated that Apple had to compromise on it's pricing in order to accommodate the studios, which, if true, would have been a major change on Apple's part.
Well, be that as it may, it is extremely important, in my view, that Apple does what ever it takes to ensure not only the success of the iTune's position as the world's best and biggest legitimate download service, but also that it ensures, what some are saying, is the success of what will be the second coming of the Apple TV, which also should be revealed at MacWorld. I personally hope that this will indeed be the second coming of the device, which for lack of streaming content, has thus far, limited both its appeal and success.
The basic concept behind Apple TV, of course, is fantastic, but the present lack of content is anything but fantastic. I'm not a movie person myself, but to the millions and millions of people out there who are, an empowered iTune movie rental service could be a very big deal indeed.
The convenience of being able to either buy or rent, at completive prices, a vast collection of movies from most, if not all, of the major studios, anytime of the day or week can't be underestimated. I believe with a huge increase in the available content, plus the hardware and software capabilities, that the day of the Apple TV will have arrived and its impact, not only on customers, but also the competition, will be huge and as just as disruptive as the iPhone was in the cellular area.
With so many rumors (as always) of just what Apple is cooking up to reveal on the 15th. at Macworld, I can already barely wait for it to roll around. This is especially true now that various sources, such as Ars Technica have revealed that Apple has officially invited all of the big European media to a special screening of Steve's keynote speech in London. Naturally, this has fanned the flames of MacWorld rumors to an even greater level. Its not that often that Apple does this, so it leads one to believe that this is going to be a very big MacWorld keynote indeed.
Well, just eight more days and we shall finally get to see exactly how big the next Apple crop will be. Hopefully, and most likely, it will be yet another big bumper crop of innovation that will surprise, delight and wow Apple fans, the industry, media and the financial markets the world over, and for months to come.
Let's hope so anyway?
And thats my 2 cents 4 this cloudy, but mild, Monday, January 7, 2008.