Apple TV: another problem for local TV

Apple TVWhen all is said and done, Apple TV — like Google TV — disrupts local television by separating content from its source. As I wrote when Google TV was announced, this will not be good in the long run for the broadcasting industry.

My colleague Jim Willi recently wrote on his blog how the use of topical promotions by TV news departments during prime time is being hurt by people skipping ads with DVRs. A study in the UK revealed that 86% of DVR users skip the commercial breaks. This is just some of the fruit of separating programming from its source.

And now we have two of the biggest tech companies on the planet offering easy-to-use — and search driven — mechanisms that present programs already separated from their source. This cannot feel good to the National Association of Broadcasters or any of its members.

The real problem is that broadcast companies have done nothing to support place-based distribution of their content, choosing instead to milk the cow of mass marketing around the scarce offerings of their brands. I have been warning for many years that this is suicide, and now we’ve reached a place where we really need to do something. Go back and read my series of essays on unbundled media for an idea of what needs to be done (here, here, here and here).

We’ve got to get it through our heads that our competition is no longer the guy across the street with a broadcast tower, because they’re in the same boat we are. Media consumption patterns are changing and will continue to do so, because the viewer is now completely in charge.


  1. invitedmedia says

    “…easy-to-use—and search driven— mechanisms…”

    do you think that’s why cbs o&o’s are quietly waltzing away from using dial position in their online id’s as these new devices don’t seem to have a “dial”?


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