BusinessWeek writer: Apple should put ‘iTunes Inside’ TVs

“For music, Apple’s iTunes store is an enormous success. Customers have downloaded 8.5 billion songs, making iTunes the top music retailer in the world. The online media bazaar stores credit-card data on 100 million people, indicating that each customer, on average, has downloaded 85 songs,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.

“But when it comes video, iTunes just isn’t a force to be reckoned with. As of Mar. 19, the latest figures available, iTunes customers had bought 250 million TV shows and purchased or rented 33 million movies. That indicates that customers on average have bought 2.5 TV shows and one-third of a movie each,” Hesseldahl writes. “Let’s face it: iTunes just isn’t where consumers want to buy video entertainment. Yes, it’s great for watching on a PC or handheld device. It also works nicely for TV, if you happen to be one of the relatively small number of AppleTV owners.”

MacDailyNews Note: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimates that 6.6 million Apple TV units will sold by year end.

Hesseldahl continues, “Apple should consider making iTunes an ingredient brand by embedding it as an application on smart TVs from other manufacturers.”

“Imagine the possibilities: TV sets will be marketed with ‘iTunes inside’ and boast a remote control that itself includes an iTunes button. Pushing the button triggers something very similar to the AppleTV experience, and contain links to the iTunes Store, allowing movies, TV shows, and music to be downloaded directly to the TV set and even shared with the nearest PC, iPod, and iPhone,” Hesseldahl. “AppleTV could be a feature on TVs from Samsung, Vizio, and—dare I suggest it?—even Sony, among others.”

“How might it happen? Apple could build and design an iTunes module using a microprocessor designed by PA Semi, the chip company it acquired in 2008, and the other chips necessary to embed iTunes software directly into the TV,” Hesseldahl writes. “Throw in some flash memory for storage, a network interface for wireless and wired connections, and offer the whole package as an add-on to TV manufacturers.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. From a marketing perspective, Apple’s potential TV offerings CANNOT be called iTunes.

    Tunes = Music. Only. It doesn’t matter what is contained in, or sold on iTunes, it’s the customer’s perception that matters.

    I know that the iTunes Store sells and provides way more than just music, but when I think iTUNES, I still think “music”.

  2. Implanting something Apple into the device of another manufacture produces a Frankenstein or worse. The other manufacture will absolutely screw it up.

    The idea is a good one, however, as long as the TV has an Apple logo on it. Also, to be a success you need better video content on iTunes.

  3. It’s really about the content at this point. I love my AppleTV, but it lacks when it comes to TV & movies. If Apple had the same distribution power for movies and TV as it does with music, then game over. Also, having to wait 30 days to rent a movie after its release from iTunes just sucks.

  4. I remember Steve Jobs once saying that people want to buy music not rent it. I only want to rent movies (or TV shows for that matter) and not own them. I long for the day when I’ll finally be able to dump my cable provider (for TV) and pick what I want to watch when I want to watch it and where I want to watch it via iTunes.

  5. The Netflix model is working for me. Monthly subscription gets me DVDs plus free movie streaming. If I don’t watch something one night it can wait. It’s very flexible and has decent content. None of the new stuff but you can get that on DVD.

    I’ve always been turned off with the 24 h limit for renting on iTunes.

    I have a BluRay player with Netflix built in. Works very well and the quality is good. I think the MacMini could do well as a similar device but the price is still too high for the mass market.

    I don’t think a Apple TV embedded into a TV will work. They need something which will work with current HD TVs otherwise the market is limited.

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