San Francisco, Calif. - New episodes of popular TV shows are coming to your iPhone, for a fee - of course - but don't throw out the TV just yet. Today, Wednesday, Apple's Steve Jobs unveiled the company's latest scheme - download a show for 99-cents through iTunes, press play and you have 48 hours to finish watching it. Some say it's the final nail in the coffin for old-fashioned TV as we know it, but analyst Dan Rayburn of StreamingMedia.com
says not so fast. He says people often mistakenly think that the most popular online media services were instant successes...
"Wow, you know, iTunes popped up overnight, or wow, Netflix streaming is awesome today. Well, yea, but it's taken Netflix almost four years to get their streaming up and to where it is today."
And he says only a tiny percent of Americans actually stream TV or movies on Netflix. He says it's not the first time the media has pre-maturely declared victory for Apple in the TV arena. A few years ago, the company introduced a low cost Apple TV set to much fanfare, but it failed to sell well. Amazon, Google, Best Buy and Hulu are among the many other names set to compete with Apple in the online video market.
Rayburn points out that Apple is really trying a different business model, rather than introducing a new technology.
"2010 marks the 15th year that streaming media was first used on the Internet. So this isn't new, this isn't cutting edge, this isn't revolutionary. It's exciting, but this technology's been around 15 years."
Rayburn says what consumers want from online video is simple.
"Consumers simply want an easy and economical way to get high-quality video to multiple devices."
He says right now there are simply too many services and devices available for online video to pose a threat to TV. He says Apple could be the one company with the power to do so, but only if they were to open up their content and services to non-Apple devices, something the company has always strongly opposed.