- Apple introduced its much-anticipated TV app at a live event this afternoon and in a press release.
- Available across Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, the app enables users to watch and discover content available from multiple apps in one place.
- The company also unveiled a new Siri feature for Apple TV, enabling viewers to ask the digital assistant to play a live sporting or news event.
Consumers increasingly want to be able to watch content on their terms — whenever and wherever they want. This includes being able to start watching a movie or a show on one device and then picking up where they left off on a different device later on. A number of players have been building offerings to meet these needs, including cable TV companies, mobile operators, satellite TV providers and over-the-top platforms. The Apple TV app is late to the game but comes as a necessary addition to the company’s offerings if it wants to continue to play an important role in how users consume content.
Apple is hoping to offer a point of differentiation by trying to streamline and centralize the experience so users do not need to hop in and out of different apps as they decide what to watch. The app also includes a selection of curated programming picked by Apple.
The integration with Siri offers some unique capabilities, such as asking Siri to continue watching a show and immediately pick up where it was left off. Siri is also now aware of live sporting events so users can say something like, “Watch the Stanford game” or “Which games are on right now?” Users can tune in directly to live video by saying the name of an app, like “Watch CBS News,” without having to navigate to the live stream within the app.
Today's announcement points to how content and digital assistants are increasingly converging to open a new opportunity for technology companies to insert themselves into the home experience. While Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said he believes the bigger potential for digital assistants is outside the home, it is clear that having a presence in the home will be critical for a successful digital assistant strategy.
The TV app is the latest sign of an increasingly fragmented and highly contested landscape for digital content as more consumers cut the cord and companies across verticals look to fill their changing consumption needs. The proposed AT&T/Time Warner merger is another compelling example of this trend.