Four Months After Apple TV, the Cable Industry Is Still Surviving

The new version of Apple TV—released on Sept. 9—was supposed to be a game-changer for the television industry. This app-heavy, Siri-integrated television platform promised to offer faster speeds and easier navigability through voice technology. In a nutshell, it was designed to turn the television into a giant iPad—which, for Apple lovers, would be a dream come true.

But now that the solution has been on the market for a few months, how are people responding to it?

“Reviews of the new Apple TV have … been pouring in, with a general consensus that its integration with Siri is a high point but that the new product falls well short of Apple’s intention to revolutionize or reinvent the TV experience,” reports Multichannel Technology Editor Jeff Bumgartner.

Before delving further into the product’s challenges, let’s review the positive aspects of Apple TV: The device comes with the sleek, voice-integrated Siri Remote, which end users seem to love. In addition to voice search, the Siri Remote allows for touch search by swiping your finger over a glass panel. And since the device contains Bluetooth, users do not have to point the remote directly at the television, which is a major plus, as the display can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the vicinity of the television.

What’s more, many consumers love Apple TV’s integration of apps, which Apple claims makes creating customized content easier for users. Consumers can simply download the app for a particular channel—like BBC, ESPN or Disney—instead of having to search for programs through a traditional scrolling style format.

“Our vision for TV is simple and perhaps a little provocative,” Apple CEO Tim Cook explained during the Apple TV launch. “We believe the future of television is apps. In fact, this transition has already begun—we are spending more time watching TV on our iPhones and iPads via apps.”

Despite these positive qualities, many consumers are dissatisfied with the new Apple TV package.

While fast-speed voice command and a content delivery model built around apps are nice features, many reviewers are complaining about the system’s buggy software and limited search options for Siri. Apple TV also lacks support for 4K (ultra HD) content, which is becoming increasingly appealing to consumers. Over the last year, for instance, awareness about 4K TV has grown by about 30 percent; this figure will likely increase over the next year.

Additional reviewer complaints center on poor discoverability in the App Store and a poor selection of games.

As you can see, Apple TV certainly has the potential to become a leading solution capable of delivering OTT content to subscribers. But as a cable operator, you can rest easy knowing that, while many of your customers will receive the TV platform as a gift this holiday season, Apple TV is not about to replace tried-and-true cable television any time soon.

Focus on providing equilibrium between cable television and OTT content, and your customers will keep coming back for more.