The future of TV?
Apple released it’s Apple TV app to customers this week. Not to be confused with their streaming service, Apple TV Plus; which will be released in September; the app promises to bring together all your TV needs in one cohesive unit.
Apple, renowned for trying to take the guess work out of the user experience by keeping things simple, find themselves in a unique position to do this. Content from their movies and TV (US and others) apps which can be purchased automatically shift to this platform. Also streaming services like HBO, Amazon Prime and Showtime amongst others have made their content explorable from the new tv app. You could subscribe, purchase content, or get a free trial if applicable, all from within the app.
However, when I updated my Apple TV software the new TV App was quite sparse. There were tabs for Watch Now, Movies and Library, as well as a search button. This is because although South Africans can legally stream from Netflix and Amazon Prime, we do not have access to Apple’s TV shows. This is due to complicated television access rights. For the same reasons we currently have little to no options for streaming live sports. Thus no TV shows or Sports tabs, and probably because of the sparsity of content, no kids tab either.
So right now, I basically get the same functionality out of the Movies app. I’m pretty sure DStv and it’s Showmax will never have their content on the app. Like their competitor Netflix, they have enough content to remain independent for now. But amidst rumblings of Disney and others eventually bringing their own services, will that still be the case in the future.
DStv have long been South Africa’s go to for entertainment but I feel that they missed a huge opportunity when they failed to move a bit quicker into streaming services. Had they done so they may have been in a better position against Netflix and South Africans would’ve look to the US company for their streaming needs. However, DStv who are embarrassingly late to the party have now been scrambling by reducing costs and offering free services to customers yet still their numbers are dwindling.
Apple released their TV app to their customers with software updates on iOS, MacOS and TvOS this week. I have installed all of these and as mentioned earlier, the app is sparse here. Things are a bit more populated on the app when I used my US Apple ID. The app has been released to the latest Samsung TV’s as well but since I have an older Samsung Smart TV, I was able to get the app. I am hoping that when Apple release their Apple TV plus service that there will be much more content. If Apple produce the content themselves, they will be able to distribute it freely.
Another streaming service I am very excited about is Disney. They will release their streaming app in November this year and they are a huge threat to companies like Netflix. The reason is that Disney already own big names like Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. The recently acquired Hulu, the streaming service known for titles like The Handmaid’s Tale. This and the fact they can seriously underprice their service is dangerous to competitors.
Apple may be safe from this since the Disney boss sits on their board and Pixar was co-owned by Steve Jobs. I am not sure how all this will play out but I hope that it will mean more TV choices for South Africans.
This post was conceived, written, edited and published on my iPhone. The Apple TV app logo was found here and the feature image was taken by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash All other pictures were taken by me or are screenshots of pictures found on the web. None of which I own.