Apple's Eddy Cue talks over-the-top Apple TV services, interactive content in interview

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited November 2015
In newly released footage of Eddy Cue's recent interview with CNNMoney, the Apple exec offered a few more details about the company's vision for the living room, specifically discussing the role apps will play in freeing consumers from traditional viewing habits.




Published by CNNMoney on Friday, the three-minute video clip and accompanying report largely echo what Apple brass have been trumpeting as Apple TV's key features, though Cue provides a few examples illustrating how the set-top box could be the "future of television."

The most important ingredient is the tvOS App Store, Cue said. Like Apple's epic success with iOS, Cue and company are creating an entirely new platform with Apple TV, one whose potential is defined not by a single entity, but by a cabal of developers. And there are thousands of app makers clamoring to get their wares on tvOS.

Cue notes the tvOS App Store opens the door to new possibilities in interactive television, a market some broadcasters are testing out through integration with Twitter and other forms of social media. With Apple TV and supporting backend technology, Cue said stations like CNN might completely reimagine the live interview by implementing a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" button in their tvOS app, for example.

On the topic of over-the-top services, Cue added some color to rumors of an Apple-branded subscription package, saying providers like Comcast can make complete packages available in-app if they so choose.

"We want to get to the point where customers are able to buy whatever they want, however they want," Cue said. "We're not fixed into 'There's only one way to buy it.' Just like we've done with the App Store, where there have been things that have been free; things that you subscribe to; things that you pay for; things that are in-app. All of those capabilities will be here and we want that market to be able to develop."

Apple is widely rumored to be working on a branded TV service, but negotiations with the entrenched industry are expectedly slow going. Early whispers said Apple would launch a Web-based service in 2015, but the most recent rumblings have pushed back that date to next year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    This may just be misdirection from Cue but it sounds like Apple wants to be the platform for content creators rather than creating their own content or subscription service. Content creators and cable companies are already starting to unbundle and go OTT. Does Apple really need to be in the TV subscription business?
  • Reply 2 of 23
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,794member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    This may just be misdirection from Cue but it sounds like Apple wants to be the platform for content creators rather than creating their own content or subscription service. Content creators and cable companies are already starting to unbundle and go OTT. Does Apple really need to be in the TV subscription business?

    Good point. It's all about distribution. 

  • Reply 3 of 23
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I think Apple needs tighter control over Apps and app developers this time around. I don't wanna see a repeat of iPhone where basically all apps are available across iPhone and knockoff devices.
    How exactly? I'm not sure but it's early enough to be done. Maybe by investing in developers or offering a higher royalty for exclusivity. Or something cheaper and even more clever.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,241member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    This may just be misdirection from Cue but it sounds like Apple wants to be the platform for content creators rather than creating their own content or subscription service. Content creators and cable companies are already starting to unbundle and go OTT. Does Apple really need to be in the TV subscription business?



    I also concur. I don't think it is misdirection at all. But will Comcast pay the 30% fee?

  • Reply 5 of 23
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    eightzero wrote: »

    I also concur. I don't think it is misdirection at all. But will Comcast pay the 30% fee?

    Is it really 30% for ?TV apps?
  • Reply 6 of 23
    TvOS is a platform that is going to democratize TV. It's Apple's version of YouTube, whereby anyone and everyone can create their own app (aka channel) with their own content (video, photo, music, news, commentary, etc). It's Wayne's World! It's your favorite band. It's your friends and family. It could even be a social network, where everyone entertains each other.

    All of this with OTT commercial TV apps, games (including multiplayer), and Second Life alternative worlds.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 320member

    Cue's suggestion that apps could allow live interaction of news shows with viewers, reminded me of this bit from The Onion.

     

    http://v.theonion.com/onionstudios/video/1292/640.mp4

  • Reply 8 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,241member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Is it really 30% for ?TV apps?



    Dunno, but what Cue suggests seems to be an in-app purchase.

  • Reply 9 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,241member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LarryJW View Post

     

    Cue's suggestion that apps could allow live interaction of news shows with viewers, reminded me of this bit from The Onion.

     

    http://v.theonion.com/onionstudios/video/1292/640.mp4




    haha! Perfect!

  • Reply 10 of 23
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    eightzero wrote: »

    I also concur. I don't think it is misdirection at all. But will Comcast pay the 30% fee?

    Replying to all above,

    I think Apple creating a superior subscription service to the competition is a great idea. Otherwise chasing content owners and even app developers can create a market for the competition and give them a huge head start(think android). What's stopping these providers and developers from porting their content to a future Amazon/giggle/roku box? Seems Apple does all the work making it easier for content to flee. HBO Now comes to mind.

    Ecosystem is the last thing left on iOS after app developers migrated all their content to knockoff platforms. I think Apple needs even stronger ecosystems going further.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    That's it cue, say one thing and do that, but behind the scene scramble to get that subscription iTunes TV deal inked.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,971member
    I like that Cue. Whatever I want, however I want... Indeed. Is it a hint that Apple will not bundle the TV service but allow subscribers to pick their favorite channels?
  • Reply 13 of 23
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    fallenjt wrote: »
    I like that Cue. Whatever I want, however I want... Indeed. Is it a hint that Apple will not bundle the TV service but allow subscribers to pick their favorite channels?

    That's clearly out of Apple's control and probably why we don't have a service right now. Maybe we'll never get one from Apple because Apple wants ala carte and the content companies said "no way". Getting to choose what channels you want in a package at $20-$40 /mo price is a pipe dream.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    cali wrote: »
    Replying to all above,

    I think Apple creating a superior subscription service to the competition is a great idea. Otherwise chasing content owners and even app developers can create a market for the competition and give them a huge head start(think android). What's stopping these providers and developers from porting their content to a future Amazon/giggle/roku box? Seems Apple does all the work making it easier for content to flee. HBO Now comes to mind.

    Ecosystem is the last thing left on iOS after app developers migrated all their content to knockoff platforms. I think Apple needs even stronger ecosystems going further.

    What would be superior to the competition? In this interview Cue specifically said Apple isn't interested in exclusivity. Any skinny cable package Apple might offer will have the same channels Sling and others have. I don't care if Apple gets into the subscription TV service as long as they're the platform everyone wants to develop for. I'd rather Apple work with content providers to help make TV more interactive, especially live TV.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    Quote:


     "We want to get to the point where customers are able to buy whatever they want, however they want," Cue said.


    Ha! As long as Apple is in complete control of every aspect of it, and the customer doesn't want anything Apple doesn't want to provide.

  • Reply 16 of 23
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 910member

    Apple wins by having a more integrated "seamless" ecosystem. If iPhone dominates the cell phone market, then a device with a familiar UX that works well with the iPhone wins on the TV by default.

     

    MS & Sony have toeholds on the living room with their game consoles. They have media capabilities and streaming apps. But they are a bit pricey, complicated, and "game" focused.

     

    Google has a chance with Android based devices, but they don't have the focus. They let others build Android devices which dilutes the experience/brand. If Google cracked down and developed a focused strategy, I think they could be a real contender - but I don't think they will.

     

    The Wii was a great precursor to the aTV. They had little apps in a grid layout. Netflix, YouTube, etc. but again, their focus was games and big developers rather than indy developers and streaming channel apps.

     

    I think Apple will dominate because iOS dominates - because it is a UX people like. And I suppose the "Apple" brand is fashionable. I don't see anything preventing content providers from putting their channel apps on the other platforms, but I think Apple will have the marketing power to tell everyone the aTV is focused on delivering content in a way MS, Sony, & Google won't/can't. Oh, and XCode is a great development environment, I don't know that the others can say that (I know from personal experience that Android's dev environment is super clunky by comparison).

     

    And all that pontificating is worth every penny you paid for it.

  • Reply 17 of 23
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     

    Ha! As long as Apple is in complete control of every aspect of it, and the customer doesn't want anything Apple doesn't want to provide.


    Exactly. Not gonna see any porn channel/apps on aTV. (HBO has lots of "adult" content, but they have other stuff, too.) I wonder how Apple will get around their "no-sex" policy when Cinemax, aka Skinemax, and the other movie channels that have lots of racy stuff are allowed on. I suspect Apple will just ignore the hypocrisy and blithely do what they want.

  • Reply 18 of 23
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member

    What I do not understand is why ? TV is not built into the iMac? The iMac already has a nice retina display, so why the need to have a seperate apple TV box that needs to be connected to a dedicated TV screen? I for one do not have a TV screen.

  • Reply 19 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     



    I also concur. I don't think it is misdirection at all. But will Comcast pay the 30% fee?




    Comcast has already started capping to 350GB/month in several markets. Every extra 50GB costs you $10 more -- but XFinity video streaming data is generously not counted towards the cap. Just imagine how quickly you will get to this cap if you cancel your cable service and stream all your video in HD instead. 

  • Reply 20 of 23
    mr o wrote: »
    What I do not understand is why ? TV is not built into the iMac? The iMac already has a nice retina display, so why the need to have a seperate apple TV box that needs to be connected to a dedicated TV screen? I for one do not have a TV screen.

    Fond memories of Frontrow come to mind :)
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