Apple’s iOS mobile platform is becoming something of a magnet for TV content lately. Now, Apple is highlighting that growth with a new App Store section called “TV Time.” Apps featured in TV Time (which can be found in both the iPhone and iPad App Stores) include streaming content delivery apps, as well as software to help you share, find and learn more about TV content.
Netflix, AT&T’s U-Verse, Hulu Plus, Comcast’s Xfinity TV and HBO Go are all good examples of the type of apps Apple is promoting as part of the “Watch” subsection of TV Time. Other apps that provide some, but not all content, like The Daily Show, Conan O’Brien Presents and Syfy are also included in a “Shows & More” grouping, and finally social sharing apps and interactive TV guides like GetGlue and i.TV make up a “Share” category.
Promoting TV apps is a winning strategy for Apple. Satellite and cable providers are embracing iOS as another content delivery vector, and many major U.S. companies like Comcast, AT&T and Cablevision began offering iPad access to their library of content for paying subscribers during the past year. The inclusion of apps that provide supplementary info and experiences to go along with TV content also encourages the use of Apple devices as second-screen interfaces for traditional TV viewing.
I use my iPad for watching video more than I did last year, and Apple probably wants to boost that trend. The more TV viewers it can attract to its platform, even if they bypass the iTunes Store and its TV show purchases, the more power it accords Apple in terms of attracting and keeping lucrative content partnerships. Hopefully one day we’ll see my real dream come to pass: every channel broken out as a specialty app for complete, a la carte control over TV viewing.