Show Me One Billion Dollars
Two recent announcements have illustrated the shift in the distribution model that is occurring in the television industry. One global, one local.
Firstly Tim Cook mentioned at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting that revenue from Apple TV now tops $1 billion. This figure is made up of sales from the device and content. He mused it could no longer be regarded a hobby as Steve Jobs had often referred to the product.
Over the last couple of years Apple TV has gone from being a platform to access downloads of movies and tv shows to include streaming content. This provides an easy way for audiences to access specialist channels without the need to commit to the monthly subscription required by pay television. Smart wifi enabled TV’s now offer similar capability and the market is still anticipating the launch of an integrated Apple Television.
The big news in New Zealand has been Telecom’s announcement that it will rebrand as “Spark” and launch an online television service… “Show Me TV”. This will, over time, bring competition to SKY Television. SKY has a 25 year march on Telecom in securing content and tapping into distributor relationships.
However Telecom/Spark have an advantage in also having one of the country’s largest customer bases, being a retailer of viewing devices (phones) and a supplier of bandwidth. They have the advantage of challenging with a entirely new pricing model which does not need to be tethered to monthly subscriptions or funding decoder boxes.
This is an incredibly dynamic period. While the media commentary has been framed as Telecom vs SKY its more complex than that. QuickFlix is already in the market, the broadcasters have their own on demand streaming platforms and there any numerous international offerings a VPN connection away.
New Zealand audiences have never had so much TV on offer.