Intel just sold its unreleased television service to Verizon. TiVo just shuttered its hardware business. Google TV flopped. Boxee sold out. Aereo keeps getting sued. Roku keeps trying new things. Netflix keeps spending wildly. Amazon more wildly still. And where on Earth is that Apple television?
Where’s the future of television we’ve been promised every year for the past decade? It always seems to be coming “next year”. And I have a hunch that 2014 may be no different.
Here’s the thing: there isn’t actually a technology problem in this space. That is, while the current solutions offered by the cable providers mainly suck, they suck because they can suck. Big Cable is holding all the cards. And they know it.
What we’re in the business of doing is building addicts, of building video addicts. The way we do that is by exposing our product, our brand, our shows, to more and more people.
"But why would we ever want a telephone at Downton, my lord?"
That’s Mr. Carson, the butler from the television show Downton Abbey, talking to Lord Grantham about a new piece of technology being installed in their home.
Recently, I’ve been re-watching old episodes of Downton Abbey and episode seven from season one is one of my favorites because of the telephone subplot. It’s the summer of 1914, and while the telephone had apparently made its way to London, the inhabitants of Downton Abbey are both confused and afraid of the invention.