I was catching up on some reading this week and came across a story by Business Insider that just left me speechless. ”Apple’s TV Dream Revealed” claims to have an inside track on Apple’s much rumoured television strategy. As a long time broadcast industry PR, I had to read it.
Aside from the many flaws in the supposed strategy, like no mention of broadcast in Apple’s plans to take over the TV industry – despite reports of growing OTT and on-demand video consumption, live broadcast television is still a pretty big deal – the abiding question I kept coming back to was, ‘Why?’. Why would a company that is the darling of the consumer experience want to risk its reputation taking on the role of a PayTV operator?
Pay TV operators are, apparently, amongst the worst at satisfying their customers. In a recent study, reported in Business Insider, Apple ranks #9 in the most loved companies in the United States. In contrast, cable operators make up 5 of the 19 most hated companies [with three featuring in the 'top' 5]. I think that operators’ reputations are misplaced, but consumers have an intimate relationship with their TVs and anything that stops them from accessing the content they want, when they want it, makes them mad. When things go wrong, and that stops them from watching television, they’re mad – and it’s all their PayTV provider’s fault.
One of the biggest challenges any organization faces is perception. In the communications industry there’s a mantra, ‘perception is reality’ and many organizations, including PayTV providers, suffer as a result. Are you trying to tell me that a company like Apple, regarded by many as one of the most savvy marketeers in the industry, plans to put its reputation on the line trying to impose a new way of watching television on viewers?
Personally, I think it’s unlikely! Sometimes even the Apples of the world have to accept that if you’re crazy enough to think you can change the world… you’re just plain crazy!