Morning Brief: Roku, Apply TV and 3rd party apps; News Corp. finds a new-old name for its entertainment division; staff from Runner’s World and Running Times find themselves switching gears at the Boston Marathon
For the past few years the big question I have asked myself, and have posed here at TNM, is when will Apple open up its Apple TV to third party apps? Opening up the family television to the same sort of market explosion that occurred in 2008 with the iPhone, and again in 2010 with the iPad would bring the media revolution to the television. I was sure that last year would have been the year – after all, Apple seems to be on this two year cycle, right?
But this review from Wired of the new Roku 3 has me thinking: has Apple missed the boat? Have they actually chosen to leave the family room to others? It seems unfathomable to me that Apple has chosen to go nowhere with the Apple TV, a device that, for me and my family, makes staying within the iPhone ecosystem an imperative.
If, with iOS 7, Apple does not include opening up the Apple TV I think analysts will have to abandon their constant predictions about a new Apple TV product. The key, which Apple knows very well, is the developer community. Without them they are completely dependent on the networks and studios.
One giant mistake I believe Apple has made has been to take some of its products off their refresh cycles. Last fall;s release of a fourth generation iPad was a complete yawn, and the absence of a new iPad this spring means that suddenly Apple is missing in action. Slowly, but steadily, expectations of what Apple will release are decreasing. I know few people who today feel the same way about new Apple releases the way they did just two years ago. This fall, or late summer, a new iPhone will arrive and right now the lack of interesting rumors about new features and capabilities is the only real “news”.
Why is this important to publishers? Because, up to now, the most important rule for launching tablet editions (and less so mobile apps) has been Apple first, then Android, Amazon, Windows… How long will this stay true? My guess is that unless this fall sees Apple doing something interesting with the platform – like opening up the Apple TV – this year could be the last year that rule remains.
News Corp. will complete its split into two companies in July and the entertainment division has decided on a name: 21st Century Fox, a play on the old studio name. The new name “draws upon the creative heritage of 20th Century Fox, while also speaking to the innovation and dynamism that must define each of our businesses through the 21st century,” Rupert Murdoch is quoted as saying in a staff memo by the NYT.
The publishing arm, which includes The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and HarperCollins, will remain News Corporation.
Many years ago my brother-in-law, who was the editor of a union newspaper in Detroit, was in Washington DC, attending a meeting of AFL-CIO representatives at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The newly elected President, Ronald Reagan, was scheduled to speak. After the event, you may recall, John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate the President, only wounding him instead.
Suddenly my brother-in-law was in a position to return to his roots as a cub reporter at the Detroit Free Press, writing a long report on the shooting for his construction trades newspaper.
Today in The Morning Call is a report on the staffers of Rodale’s Runner’s World and Running Times who were naturally in Boston to report on the marathon. Spencer Soper of The Morning Call followed up with what happened after the bombings:
“Being journalists, we knew the story wasn’t the race anymore,” said (Erin) Strout, an editor with Running Times who was live-blogging marathon results when the blast occurred. “We figured, let’s find out what we can on the Internet because nobody can get out.”
This kind of story is what we used to see in industry trade publications such as Editor & Publisher, it was good to see the local paper picking up the story.