Apple’s “hobby” the Apple TV has a chance at becoming a ubiquitous household item, though the company may need to add support for non-Apple media services and implement many new features if it seriously intends making an iPod-level impact on this important growing market.
The reason Apple has the chance is visible in the growing momentum behind development of solutions to bring online video to the front room – a sector becoming quickly more intense.
Online video on-demand services such as iTunes or Hulu are hot properties, meaning many more devices – including TVs offering features similar to the Apple TV – should begin to reach market en masse starting next year. And even if Apple does not develop such solutions there will still be winners and losers in the race to offer the ‘iPod’ equivalent of the multimedia for the front room box.
US musician Kid Rock has gone public on why he won’t sell his albums through iTunes, arguing that while Apple and the labels get paid, but the artists don’t.
Explaining his position, the musician said: “Back in the day, we all know the stories of the Otis Reddings and Chuck Berrys and Fats Dominos who never got paid.
“So the internet was an opportunity for everyone to be treated fairly, for the consumer to get a fair price, for the artist to be paid fairly, for the record companies to make some money.”
But they stuck to the “old system”, he continued.
Asked by his major label a few years ago to make a stand against music downloads he replied: “Wait a second. You’ve been stealing from the artists for years. Now you want me to stand up for you?” and refused the request, instead telling fans to download his music illegally. He’s not so worried about downloading, it seems, arguing, “I think we should level the playing field. I don’t mind people stealing my music, that’s fine. But I think they should steal everything. You know how much money the oil companies have? If you need some gas, just go fill your tank off and drive off, they’re not going to miss it.”
Kid Rock’s last album Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus reached number one in the US, despite not being available on iTunes. The artist concedes he will be on iTunes “eventually”.