Why marketers are interested in Apple TV

Unlike the media storm that usually surrounds the launch of Apple products, Apple TV has somewhat fallen under the radar. First released in 2007 (yes, a staggering 9 years ago), it is rumoured its fifth generation will be released toward the end of 2016. CEO Tim Cook has hinted "something bigger" is in store, but can Apple TV capture finally capture the hearts and minds of consumers?

Gaining popularity

According to a recent Forbes article, Apple TV has proved uninspiring in its incremental updates to a ‘rather lifeless box of TV tricks’. Granted, as Time magazine reported, Apple TV is still a multi-billion dollar business, but it has arguably struggled to become a household staple in the same way as the iPhone or iPod.

Recent improvements have sparked the interest of many a tech aficionado, with Forbes hailing the introduction of ‘live TV’ as ‘the single most important feature’ to come from the most recent update.

The new generation TV looks set to focus on improving user friendliness, compatibility with content providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, and offering further live streaming of content with the help of Twitter.

Why marketers are taking note

While the improvement of Apple TV is interesting from a tech standpoint, the changes have also turned the heads of marketers looking to capitalise upon the increasing popularity of the platform.

Marketing Week argues that even though Apple TV has been around for almost a decade, ‘it is only now that brands are seeing the opportunity and including the platform in their marketing strategies.’

Some of the most innovative brand uses of Apple TV include Just Eat, who have launched a group ordering experience which allows individuals to order from their own Apple devices but use the shared wifi to sync the order to Apple TV. This has been hailed as an industry first for Just Eat and a creative bid to integrate the brand seamlessly into the everyday lives of its consumers.

Marketing Week argues that now is the time for marketers to buy into the Apple TV platform, as viewer habits swing towards internet-enhanced TV viewing and brand loyalty towards Apple remains high.

Yet it is also acknowledged that the platform has some way to go to capture the attention of many marketers, as the lack of content options available on Apple TV remains one of its biggest barriers to further success.

What’s next?

Although only time will tell if the latest generation release will spark a surge in marketers looking to use Apple TV as their newest platform, there are three positive signs for Apple;

1) ComputerWorld argues that viewing trends are working in Apple’s favour, as the popularity of “binge-watching” seems only set to increase as millennials continue to dominate as consumers.

2) The popularity of multi-platform media could also be a big advantage for Apple, as those already familiar with the brand will be keen to capitalise on the compatibility of Apple TV with their pre-existing Apple products. If content and streaming is able to migrate from one device to another, this could prove a key selling point in the future of the platform.

3) If Apple TV can overcome the current barriers to content by allowing apps, from games to online retail, to join its space, Apple could further encourage brands to bring their apps to the platform.

When Tim Cook declared ‘we believe the future of TV is apps’, he could have been on to a winner. Only time will tell if his prediction was correct and Apple TV can become a trusted platform for marketers and consumers alike.

Why marketers are interested in Apple TV