Breaking free from cable and satellite TV subscriptions is gaining some more legitimacy as streaming services slowly gain traction, and Netflix backing that up with several Emmy nominations for its Arrested Development and House of Cards -- original shows that aren't available through traditional networks, but can be streamed to devices like the iPhone and iPad, Apple TV, and TiVo set top boxes. The Emmy nominations show the entertainment industry is taking Internet-based original programming seriously, and that's good news for TV watchers wanting to ditch the old school viewing model, and for companies like Apple that are looking for reasons to get us to buy their gear.
Netflix Emmy nominations spell good news for Apple TV and other streaming content devices
Arrested Development ran for three seasons on Fox TV starting in 2003. It's fourth season ran in 2013 on Netflix as an original series and has been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.
House of Cards was nominated for Best Drama, Best Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Cinematography, and more.
Emmy nominations for two shows doesn't signal the end of the traditional cable and satellite TV industry, but that along with the fact that Internet show are eligible for Emmy awards shows there is a viable alternative for content delivery. That translates to good news for companies like Apple who are pushing to bring more content to viewers outside of the grip of cable subscriptions.
Apple already has a deal in place so Netflix subscribers can watch streaming shows and movies on Apple TV, and it also has deals with ESPN, HBO, Major League Baseball, Sky News, The Wall Street Journal, and more. Most of those channels require subscriptions to a traditional cable or satellite package, but we may see a change in that soon, too.
CW plans to bring its shows to Apple TV some time this year, and it won't require viewers to have a cable or satellite contract, meaning anyone with an Apple TV can watch the network's shows. If CW's experience goes well, we could see other networks follow suit, and as more networks come onboard with Apple TV and other set top streaming content devices, viewers will have fewer reasons to stick with their old school cable TV packages.
Apple is also reportedly negotiating to bring content without commercials for a fee to Apple TV viewers. If the company can find a way to get studios on board, it'll have a compelling option outside of the traditional TV viewing structure both for the people that create shows and the people that watch them.
Moving away from regular cable and satellite connections in favor of ala carte streaming isn't something that will happen over night, or even over the next couple of years. It will, however, slowly gain momentum as more TV viewers find they can get the content they want without paying for big channel bundles.
As that small market grows, Apple is in a good place to snatch up new Apple TV customers. A recent Frost & Sullivan study showed that Apple TV holds 56.1 percent of the dedicated streaming content device market and Roku holds 21.5 percent. Apple's lead comes in part because AirPlay makes it easy to watch content that on an iPad or iPhone on a big screen TV, which is an enticing feature for consumers.
Assuming Apple can maintain that lead and bring content from more networks like CW to the Apple TV, it has the potential to be the go-to choice for home streaming media devices -- and if Apple can swing those deal, so can Roku and TiVo.
Cutting the cable and satellite TV cord isn't something everyone is ready for yet, but it is becoming an option for more viewers. Netflix is doing its part to help break us free from the traditional cable viewing experience, and Apple TV and Roku are doing their part, too.
We aren't there today, but someday a substantial number of viewers will look at the little Apple TV or Roku box connected to their television and wonder why they ever agreed to pay for cable and satellite packages.