Q. Mr. Answer Man, if you had to pick one company that will be the biggest loser in the new TV wars, what would it be? By that, I want you to name a company that everyone expects will do well, but you think will fail. So, who would that be? — Tony, Las Vegas.
Tony, that’s a good question. There are hundreds of companies, large and small, trying to get a piece of the action in the increasingly competitive fight for the video audience. But one company that is among those trying the hardest, I predict, will turn out to be the biggest loser.
And by the biggest loser, I mean the company that will invest the most, but get back the least in return.
So, who is that?
Yes, Apple. The company has flirted with everything from building a company-branded TV to buying and/or partnering with a pay TV company to launching a live streaming service.
But to date, Apple has only produced the Apple TV streaming device, which is basically a knock-off of Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
There is the beginnings of an Apple content division that promises new TV shows from people such as Reese Witherspoon and Steven Spielberg. And analysts say Apple is likely to turn this original content into a Netflix-like subscription video on demand service.
But over the years, Apple has shown no indication that it understands TV, or more specifically, the TV audience, whether it’s a big-screen or a mobile one. The company has done an amazing job developing such products as the iPhone and iPad, but video is largely a secondary aspect of both.
I remember when Steve Jobs first introduced the 3.5-inch video-enabled iPod and he predicted it would be the future of television. Obviously, Jobs was wrong. Mobile video is still a secondary (at best) viewing option for most consumers.
Over the years, Apple has continued to demonstrate that it doesn’t understand what to do with video, or more precisely, what Americans would like to see on video.
So I predict that Apple will invest heavily in trying to build a video division with original content. But I also predict that its historic and deep-rooted lack of understanding of television will doom it to failure.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann
Photo credit: Free photo via Pexels.com.