Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Apple’s new plan: a TV guide

Peter Kafka at Recode has the latest on Apple’s attempts to crack the TV market:

Apple has started talking to TV programmers and other video companies about creating a digital TV guide that would work on both Apple TV boxes and other Apple devices, like iPhones.

The idea is to let users see what kind of programming is available in video apps made by the likes of HBO, Netflix and ESPN, without having to open up each app individually, and to play shows and movies with a single click.

That is: Apple’s guide would tell you what’s on TV. Except now TV is apps.

I believe that managing disparate sets of video content is a place where Apple can gain an advantage, because it’s a feature that’s beyond the scope of individual content providers. Siri searches on the Apple TV start to aggregate this stuff, but there’s much more to do. Compiling to-watch lists (across services), making suggestions, even providing a menu of programming currently streaming live—this is all stuff that Apple could do, and it could dramatically improve the Internet-connected TV experience.

You’ve got to love this, though:

But TV industry executives I’ve talked to view Apple’s plans as a mixed bag. They like the idea of making their individual shows easier to find, but they worry that moving consumers’ focus from their individual apps to a universal guide will reduce their power to promote their other shows.

Once again, Apple is arguing for something that improves the experience of the user. The TV industry (run by the same entertainment executives that derided Apple as arrogant last week) wants to make things harder for users, because otherwise they’ll actually have to compete.

—Linked by Jason Snell

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