I just finished watching Steve Jobs’ Macworld 2008 Keynote. In the address Steve announces the launch of movie rentals on the Apple TV. I believe that Apple is about to do the same thing to TV with the Apple TV that they’ve done to radio with the iPod.
What excites most people about the new Apple TV (and why I think people will go out and buy one) is the addition of movie rentals. Now, from the comfort of your living room, you can rent HD movies with 5.1 Digital Surround, watch HD TV shows on your own schedule (who needs a TiVo?), browse YouTube Videos…and of course listen to anything in your iTunes library. All of this for less than the cost of either a BluRay or HD DVD Player. The Apple TV costs only $229 for the basic model that stores 50 hours of video (they also offer a $329 version that will store 200 hours).
So why does this change everything? The feature that most people are overlooking but I believe is the most disruptive is the Apple TV’s video podcast access…in the living room…on the TV…in High Definition. What used to be the realm of 2 inch iPod screens is now going to be available in HD on your TV. This allows podcast producers around the world to compete directly with Broadcast/Cable/Satellite TV all at no cost to the end user. For only the cost of a HD digital video camera and some basic video editing software anyone will be able create their own on demand HDTV channel and offer it to millions of people across the globe…right there next to the big boys.
In the past high production costs and limited distribution channels meant well funded studios were
the only ones who could produce and distribute content…drastically reduced
production costs combined with global distribution over the internet have the potential to shift the power of content production to the masses…and that changes everything…just ask NBC.