Brian Barrett at Gizmodo on why Apple TV might be Apple’s most important product:
Two days ago, word came down that Hulu Plus had crash-landed on Apple TV. It’s hard to overstate what a big deal this is; the assumption had long been that Apple didn’t want Hulu on its streaming box because it directly competes with Apple’s own (highly profitable) iTunes offerings. Who’s going to buy a $30 season pass to Modern Family when when it’s rolled into your $8/month Hulu Plus subscription?
That’s not just idle speculation, either; Hulu Plus had reportedly been ready to go—and running on Apple TVs in Cupertino—for nearly a year already. The reason for the delay, according to 9to5Mac? Concerns that Hulu Plus would eat into iTunes sales. For some reason, as of this week, those concerns were cast aside.
The more features the Apple TV adds, the better. Despite its place as the most used device in my living room (Thanks to AirPlay and Air Video) it’s sometimes hard to describe its purpose to others. Access to iTunes content is nice, but it’s way more expensive than subscriptions to Netflix or Hulu.
The current Apple TV deserves more services and features – but it’s not the future of Apple’s living room plans. Apple will have to do something more profound when it attempts to replace the television.