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Apple needs a television advocate

Dan Moren | July 6, 2015
We've barely delved into Apple's latest grand experiment with online media, but I'm already looking forward to the next one. I've spoken of my hopes for Apple's rumored television service in the past, but after a few days with Apple Music, I've been even more curious about how the company plans to tackle the TV industry.

That said, Steve Jobs isn't around anymore--this is Tim Cook's Apple. Then again, I'm not convinced that Tim Cook himself is much of a TV watcher personally--sporting matches excluded. Fitness and health is his bailiwick, and he does a great job conveying his own passion and enthusiasm for those aspects of Apple's business.

But what Apple needs is someone to make the case for television. To talk about why it's great and why Apple thinks its service, whatever it is, is the greatest thing since the invention of the remote control. It needs a television advocate. Admittedly, television is hard to demo on stage--while you can have U2 come out and play a few songs, you can't really have the audience watch a whole episode of Mad Men or Game of Thrones. But I'd like to see someone who can make me believe that Apple cares about television being great as much as it cares about music being great.

Maybe that's wishful thinking. I mean, Apple went out and spent $3.2 billion on a music company; it hasn't done anything of that magnitude on the TV side. Still, among the ranks of vice presidents and product managers working on a project as large as a new TV service there surely must be someone who can be passionate and eloquent about why television is important.

I've been waiting for a solid Apple subscription TV service for as long as I've been writing about the company. This is an area that, as cringeworthy as the phrase might be, is ripe for disruption. Apple could be the one to do it, but it also needs to be able to convince the viewing audience that the time is right to change the channel.


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