Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its Apple TV set-top box six years ago (really? That long ago?) with the hopes of becoming the next source of living-room entertainment for the family. The concept of streaming digital video through the box and collecting content through iTunes seemed to be state-of-the-art. Over the last few years, others have stepped into the video-streaming space, like Roku and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) through its Xbox gaming console.
There is little question that the living room has become the next frontier, the next battleground in tech, as home and family entertainment takes a front seat now that the productivity race on mobile devices is well under way. After people on the go do all their work from their smartphones and tablets, they need to have a place to relax and watch what they want, right?
This is where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV, Xbox and the rest come in. Apple released Apple TV in 2007 and it sort of fell flat. Apple seemed to put it aside or take into the back rooms for a couple of years, and only in the last year of 18 months has it seemed to be more public in its work on improving the device and making it more attractive to consumers. Of course, part of that has been the consumers themselves changing their wants and needs over the last several years. to the point that now they don’t watch as much scheduled programming and instead tend to want their television and movies on-demand when they are ready to watch.
Apple has been working to expand its lineup for Apple TV, and this week it announced it largest content expansion since the Apple TV system launched. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is announcing that it will be bringing some HBO and ESPN content both to Apple TV and to iTunes in the coming weeks. Some of the content will be restricted to subscribers or pay-TV customers, but there will be some content available for everyone on iTunes for viewing or purchase. There are no more details about this at this point, but we will keep you posted as we learn more. How significant can this be for Apple?
This does seem to be a major coup for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), considering that these are major networks that likely do not license their content away very easily. What do you think about this deal? As about half of the 13 million Apple TV units sold since 2007 have been sold in this calendar year, what do you think this licensing deal will mean for Apple TV going forward? Give us your take in the comment section below.