With Siri TV, Apple will dismantle the TV networks

“Steve Jobs died without fully transforming television, but the day after [before – MDN Ed.] he passed away, Apple unveiled Siri, its natural language interface,” Ben Elowitz writes for AllThingsD.

“Though it’s currently only embedded in the new iPhone 4S, Siri could eventually change the face of the TV industry,” Elowitz writes. “Most observers and analysts believe that Siri’s voice commands could eliminate the need for those clunky TV remote controls. With the blurring and exponential proliferation of television and Web content, telling your TV what you’d like to watch, instead of scrolling through a nearly infinite number of program possibilities, makes a lot more sense.”

Elowitz writes, “But from my perspective, Siri’s greatest impact won’t ultimately be on users, or on device manufacturers (though they certainly risk losing market share to Apple). It will be on the TV industry’s content creators and packagers. Why? Because a voice-controlled television interface will fundamentally disrupt the six-decade-old legacy structure of networks, channels and programs. And that’s a legacy that — until now, at least — has been carried forward from analog to digital.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

39 Comments

    1. Next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel, next channel . . .

  1. I don’t believe it. There are too many people who don’t know what they want to watch. Most want to veg out in front of the TV with the remote channel surfing until they stumble across some idiotic crap that cable providers troll out.

      1. “Siri, find me something good to watch.”

        There are three items that match that description.
        – HBO All You Can Watch service for $4.99 per month.
        – PBS streaming app. Free.
        – and 139 episodes of Top Gear for $1.99 each, shall I list them for you?

    1. I think Siri will augment the remote not replace it.
      For instance, If I could ask Siri to record show XYZ or news report ABC and have it ready for me when i get home (or send the tags to an iphone or ipad for mobile viewing) would be great. Maybe even have web links to relevant content for further researching would be nice too. Clicking the remote to hunt for shows is a sport, Siri won`t be doing this, guaranteed. I see a device like this having the potential to be more of a “house” computer than anything. Calling it a TV just makes it more approachable.
      Trojan horse.

  2. Love Apple. Don’t want to talk to my TV. I don’t want to talk to my appliances, I don’t want to say “turn the lights on” to turn the lights on. Not talking but simply pushing (well organized) buttons is a much more relaxing mode than having to vocalize my wishes. I am sure I am not alone in this.

    1. My inclination is to think that all this talk about a 7″ ‘iPad’ (rumors of supply chain orders, etc.) might just be about a media/tv controller, in some ways similar to the Bang&Olufsen Beo6.

  3. Unfortunately, the TV-program itself will not get better.
    Just as it didn’t get better by the shift from analog CRT TVs to giant HD flatscreens (it only got bigger).

    Technically, if you actually need some “crap to veg out”, you can go to Youtube already.

  4. “…telling your TV what you’d like to watch, instead of scrolling through a nearly infinite number of program possibilities, makes a lot more sense.”

    Still have to know what is on, somehow — before you can tell your TV you want to watch it.

    1. I think we are approaching a time when we will no longer be limited so much to what happens to be airing now. Imagine telling Siri “I’d like to watch this weeks episode of and watching it whether it is airing that night or not. The days of being tied to your TV on a particular night because that is when your show is on are coming to an end.

  5. Sorry dude, but that’s a fantasy world. The content providers and cable and satellite providers will fight this tooth and nail.

    Elowitz forgot one big, HUGE problem: with all the other content he used as examples of how traditional media has been broken into component parts, he neglected to realize that someone had to put all that content on the web in a format which could be accessed by component parts.

    TV and movie studios will never allow their content to be provided piecemeal, such that you don’t need to watch their ads or buy each episode individually. They can’t. Their entire revenue model is based off of advertisers paying for spots based on viewership and demographics. Far different from other media, which could have ads on a page with an article, or songs which didn’t rely on advertising anyway.

    And if people really think Siri was Steve Jobs’ “solution” to the TV quandary, they’re very shortsighted. Siri may be very useful, but Siri in a TV is nothing more than a different control mechanism. It’s not a TV revolution or solution. You still need a remote to handle rewinding your DVR (how we ever watched TV without DVRs, I don’t know).

    No, Jobs had something much bigger in mind.

    1. The content providers and cable and satellite providers will fight this tooth and nail.

      Satellite and ISPs, for sure, but the content providers, including the cable networks who own studios, will negotiate in the best interests of their companies. Just as they’ve been doing with the iTunes Store for the last several years.

      TV and movies studios will be no different. Apple will probably offer to help them through the negotiation process.

      Apple’s waterloo is going to be distribution, if they don’t open up a conduit.

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