The technology industry is hard at work devising apps for television, which could transform the television business while replacing the clunky cable interface with apps that will work on the TV screen, reports The New York Times.
Apps for some services, such as Hulu Plus and Netflix, are already built into Internet-enabled TVs. But the industry may move to a model built around TV apps, allowing viewers to use their apps from their TV screens, the story notes. This could bypass cable subscription and networks that viewers don’t watch, the piece adds.
"À la carte apps would upend the entrenched and lucrative economics of television, which have long relied on a system in which cable customers pay for channels even if they don’t watch them." the article notes.
"The idea of undermining this model is so sensitive that media executives who think that apps are the future of television would not discuss the subject publicly, for fear of disturbing their cable and satellite partners," the story says.
Cable and satellite companies are also working on their own apps, hoping that they’ll be able to replicate the set-top box.
"In an ideal cable industry model, customers will have one or two apps that offer hundreds of channels rather than dozens of apps for individual networks," the story notes.