As tablets and smartphones become more popular, app developers are thriving. As we get used to the convenience of tablets other forms of technology are beginning to feel outdated, one of these forms being television. We find ourselves flipping through countless channels to find a good movie or a certain sports game. We still rely on remote controls and tv guides to navigate our television set but things may be changing soon. Soon we may have a series of apps on our television screen.
The few apps that already exist for internet-enabled televisions include Hulu Plus, Netflix and Wal Mart’s Vudu streaming service. These apps are built into these special televisions and are receiving praises from tech-loving consumers. There are also devices like X-Box 360 and Roku that let viewers watch apps that imitate channels. Samsung is coming out with new television sets that will come programmed with television shows, movies and sports.
Additionally Apple has a video player called Apple TV that has apps to Netflix, MLB and other content. Many industry insiders predict that Apple will come out with something more aggressive than this perhaps an Apple TV set. Apple has refused to comment on such predictions. If they do come out with such technology it is expected to thrive.
The real question is how such a system would work. It seems that customers would be able to purchase apps on an individual basis allowing them to only pay for the channels they actually use as opposed to paying for an entire cable bundle. This very notion is causing the television industry to assert some resistance towards internet based television despite the fact that such technological development is likely inevitable.
Individual apps would completely derail the economic model that the televisions industry is built on. Cable television relies on customers paying for a whole bundle of channels including the channels that they don’t use. Television executives fear the new app based model so much that they won’t publicly comment on it.
That being said consumers are also deeply dependent on the system as it is. Most consumers would rather get everything at a bargain price than a bunch of cheaper individual apps. Most people wouldn’t want to seriously reduce the number of television networks they have access to even if they don’t use half of them. It is no secret that we live in a give me more type of society.
While apps are convenient and could offer a more practical television viewing experience both consumers and television networks would have to be in line with the change in order to see app driven television become a reality.
Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International
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