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Iovine drops hints about Apple’s secret weapon in the TV streaming wars

August 7th, 2015 at 6:30 PM
Apple TV Curation

While Apple Music and Spotify ostensibly provide the same service, the music curation on Apple Music truly sets Apple’s streaming music service apart from its Swedish rival. Underscoring Apple’s commitment to curated content, legendary music executive and current Apple employee Jimmy Iovine said recently that Apple hired the best music minded folks it could find to keep Apple Music buzzing. “We hired the best people we know,” Iovine said. “Hired hundreds of them.”

With rumors of an Apple TV service swirling about, it’s only natural to wonder if Apple might try to extend its love affair with curation into the TV realm.

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Well, as luck would have it, Iovine, in a separate interview published in Wired on Friday, alluded to this very fact.

We all know one thing, we all have different television delivery systems, don’t we all wish that the delivery systems were better, as far as curation and service? They’re all technically good. And Netflix is starting to cross the code because they’re starting to make some original content. It is really good, but still I mean none of us make movies here right, so we’re all punters, or what do you call them in the music business, fans right? We want to watch movies.

Sit down with your girlfriend or a bunch of friends and try to find a movie online. That box helps you none — it doesn’t help. You’re on your own. And eventually that will catch them unless somebody digs in and really helps the customer. And entertainment needs that, it needs to live and breathe.

Indeed, with more quality TV programming today than at any other point in history, keeping up with an endless stream of compelling content from a variety of content providers is practically an exercise in futility. What’s more, with so many options to choose from, most people today simply base their TV viewing habits on suggestions from friends.

So perhaps what Iovine is alluding to is insightful. Perhaps a partially curated TV model a’la Apple Music is not only necessary, but an exciting feature that might help differentiate Apple’s rumored TV service when it happens to launch.

Lending credence to the notion that Apple could go down this path, Apple in August of 2013 acquired a video discovery and recommendation service called The service, which came in the form of an iOS app, aggregated video across cable providers and streaming services and offered recommendations via an algorithm that impressed Apple. If coupled with human curators, an Apple TV service would be that much more appealing.

As a final point, the latest rumblings from the rumor mill suggest that a revamped Apple TV will be announced this September alongside Apple’s iPhone 6s unveiling. Apple’s rumored TV subscription service, however, may not be announced until a few months later.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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