Apple TV: Has the Tech Giant Finally Gotten It Right?

by Lolita Foster, Senior Content Developer, West Cary Group

The streaming media player Apple TV has wandered the planet for some time now, searching for its place in this world. For almost a decade, it has hung around largely unwanted, unused and unloved. But where did it err? And can it correct the course?

Obviously, the market for set-top boxes is thriving. If Roku (released one year after Apple TV, in 2008) can make dominance look easy, and if Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast can pull it off (both tied for the second top-selling spot in 2015 sales), then why, oh why – with all of its tech might – can’t Apple TV?

What’s this, though?  West Cary Group sees a giant ray of hope (and an infinite ray of marketing possibilities) in Apple TV’s most recent batch of upgrades. Even though it placed third in sales last year, with more than 10 million devices shipped, that was a six-spot jump from 2014. That milestone also marked the largest increase in unit sales on a year-over-year basis for any of the streaming devices.

It appears that Apple TV might finally be on to something. What caused ambivalent audiences to convert to rabid consumers? A 2015 Q4 fourth-generation release with positively inspired additions began turning this lost child into a grounded adolescent with:

1.     A brand-new operating system. In September, Apple introduced the world to tvOS, billed as “an innovative TV platform that redefines what can be done in the living room.” This OS included a new bundled touchpad remote that allowed enhanced interface interaction. 

2.     App Store and games inclusion. For the first time, the App store is on your television screen. Last year, CEO Tim Cook asserted that TV needed apps to alter an essentially inactive experience. Today, the number of accessible third-party apps has reached almost 6,000.

3.     Siri. The voice-activated assistant was first introduced to the set-top box in September and finally opened up to developers. In June, it was announced that Siri’s capabilities would be further enhanced with the release of tvOS 10. Now you can use it to search content by topic or category. You can also command it to turn off lights and adjust room temperature through Apple HomeKit.

Cause for Celebration

Thanks to the allure of crafting immersive experiences on large screens, there is much for brands to rejoice in with the addition of App Store. Besides the obvious benefit of gaming possibilities, there are even more engagement opportunities that brands have used to garner accolades and top download slots: 

·      Exercise junkies can feel the burn with the personal fitness trainer Zova.

·      Foodies can experiment with unexplored culinary delights, courtesy of Kitchen Stories.

·      Online shoppers can find unique products with amazing designs via Not On The High Street.

·      Travelers can plan their next exotic trip via Airbnb.

But Wait There’s More!

West Cary Group thinks that the addition of Siri is a clear indicator of where your company’s opportunity and Apple TV’s future dominance lies. On a micro level, we foresee Apple TV being an integral of a smart home. On a macro level, we predict it being a major player in IoT. Companies should now start thinking about how to use this to their advantage.

It appears that the device is slowly being groomed, much like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, to be your central hub for everything. With the introduction of the fourth generation, Siri is now available on four Apple platforms: iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Siri is talking to HomeKit, which is a small step toward an immense end game.

Add to this a growing demand for IoT (Gartner predicts that in 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day). With this increase, consumers are choosing to communicate with marketing touchpoints like appliances, security systems and electronic devices with more voracity than ever before.

Consumers are hungry for convenience, and it’s vital for marketers and for brands to use that desired connectivity to craft more powerful campaigns – ones with resonant messages delivered to a targeted audience in real time.

Apple TV, we finally see where you’re going. And we like it. We like it a lot.

If your business is as keen as we are on the marketing possibilities, contact WCGi today. We can collaborate on ways to give your customers a new way to interact with your brand and craft the best user experiences possible. We think your company will grow to like Apple TV, too – in a way your consumers are downright going to love. 

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