Apple TV and television are kinda sorta mostly joined at the hip. You can’t really watch whatever is available on Apple TV without having a television, and television as we know it is changing by the minute.
That might help to explain why Apple remains hopelessly behind streaming TV competitors who offer similar fare for half the price. Half the price? Check out Roku, Amazon’s new Fire Stick, and other devices, including Google’s Chromecast. Lower price, higher market share, same stuff, right?
First, market share for these streaming TV devices does not equate to usage and certainly has little bearing on revenue because Apple probably does a better job of selling iTunes TV shows and movies than competitors. As to usage, isn’t that the number we should be considering instead of sales?
Why? I know plenty of people in my circle of family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors who have streaming devices hooked up to their big flat panel UHD televisions and few of them bother to stream anything. Why not? Cable TV gets first pick. My unofficial and non-scientific survey of people with non-Apple TV streaming devices indicates the following:
- Chromecast gets used the least (interface sucks)
- Roku gets used the most (interface and choice)
- Amazon gets used for movies (Prime members only)
That list does not include Apple TV because those users are different and use the device in many ways. Apple TV is a platform that interconnects with Mac, iPhone, iPad, iCloud, and comes with games and other entertainment and information options not found elsewhere. AirPlay gets used often with Apple TV users.
Again, unofficially, and unscientifically, Apple TV customers don’t use the device in the same way, and if you’ve tried to push content from any Apple device to a Chromecast stick or Amazon stick you know why. Interface matters and usage is more important than sales. Apple’s marketshare, according to those who track such things, is far less than the less expensive Chromecast and Amazon sticks, and less than Roku’s devices. Usage does not get measured. It should
Why isn’t Apple TV the end all be all of streaming television? Because television is changing. Yes, we have over-the-air (OTA) TV, cable TV, and a variety of streaming services which push much the same fare in lower priced packages, but what we watch and where we watch so-called TV is changing. YouTube is TV. Amazon Prime is TV. Sling is TV. TV isn’t TV any more.
What’s missing with Apple TV? A streaming television package. Why doesn’t Apple have one yet? I suspect it’s a Why bother? issue. If you want Sling TV then you need a device to get the video to a big screen (or, just use iPad, iPhone, or whatever; Apple still wins). I really like Google YouTube TV because of the built-in DVR function.
Television just isn’t the television we grew up with. It’s changing. With Apple TV 4K with HDR support, Apple is skating to where the puck will be. 4K HDR televisions.