Apple has released a new TV spot for the Apple TV. Compared to previous ads that were focused on content, this time, it’s about apps and the Apple TV App Store. This is interesting for a few reasons. Apple has used the app angle when it first introduced the new Apple TV. But does a TV App Store make sense?
When you buy a connected box for your TV, you expect to be able to stream content from Netflix, Mubi, HBO, Showtime, MLB, Hulu, WatchESPN, and some sort of movie-renting service like the iTunes Store, Google Play or Amazon Video. But what about all the apps you love on your phone? Maybe a TV isn’t made for Twitter, The New York Times, Instagram, Facebook, Slack and Pocket after all.
By definition, the Apple TV won’t get as many apps as the iOS App Store. And that’s OK. People are paying for services like HBO Now. Service providers need to have an app on the Apple TV. These apps will always be there. But that also means that the Apple TV won’t generate startup or indie successes. The Apple TV App Store is made for big content players.
And then, there are the games. It’s still too early to say whether the Apple TV is going to become an important gaming platform. It seems to have a lot of potential. The largest category on the Apple TV App Store is games. And it’s possible that many game developers are waiting for a bigger installed base before dedicating resources to this new platform.
Apple believes that the future of TV is apps. As of today, the Apple TV is mostly about free apps from big content companies and games. It’s going to be interesting to check back in a few months and look at the state of the Apple TV App Store and see if there’s room for small app developers.