Is TV Everywhere, the concept being pushed by the traditional pay TV industry as an answer to free over-the-top video, doomed before it really gets started? Or is it just evolving into a concept driven largely by Apple’s influence?
One argument made on a TV Everywhere panel that I attended at the recent Independent Show, made by Michael Quigley, VP of business development for Turner Broadcasting, said that TV Everywhere needs to be one consistent solution for the entire industry. Anything else and you risk confusing customers and providers alike, dooming the concept to failure. But isn’t that exactly what is happening?
I bring up Apple, because most of the relevant “TV Everywhere like” applications are being written to their platform. Cablevision is actively pursuing an Apple iPad strategy. AT&T just announced a U-verse iPhone app for television viewing on the iPhone. Comcast already has an iPad app for controlling your television experience. Is the growing influence of the iOS platform in general wrecking TV Everywhere? Or will accessing my television content on Apple devices BECOME TV Everywhere?
Of course, development of TV Everywhere type of applications is occurring beyond Apple. Verizon and Motorola are rumored to be developing a tablet device based on Android that will allow viewing of television content. But one could argue, all of this Android development is in response to the success that Apple is having, both with the iPhone and iPad, and maybe soon, the iTV. Google will have their say with TV as well, and Google TV’s plans involve more than just the physical television – they extend to mobile devices. You can’t forget Echostar’s Sling platform either – an entirely different direction than other TV Everywhere concepts.
I say all this to say, there is so much development happening around the TV Everywhere concept, that from my vantage point at least, doesn’t seem to be very well coordinated or leading to that so called universal solution. Apple’s influence is undeniable – both with their own products and their competitor’s response to them. For the time being, isn’t Apple driving the TV Everywhere ship? Maybe we will soon call it iTV Everywhere.