Apple TVs Screensaver Is a Huge Missed Opportunity for Live Video

TVs are getting increasingly connected. Apple TV is just one of many tools that allows us to connect the biggest screens in our lives to our devices and hence the internet. When they command our full attention, when were watching a movie or a presentation, they work great.

But the rest of the time, when in ambient mode, they are a huge wasted resource. The first AppleTV screensavers were very much informed by desktop best practices; slideshows of beautiful photos. Last year Apple made a marked improvement when they introduced video screensavers.

Apple TV pulls slow motion HD aerial video from across the world; San Francisco, London, New York, China and Hawaii. It is mesmerizing and compelling. But it leaves so much opportunity still on the table.

Walk into any sports bar, office building, even elevator, and youll find the TV screens there showing live TV. Depending on the venue it might be ESPN (for sports), CNN (for general news) or CNBC (for business news). This ambient live content gives viewers a way to serendipitously find out what is going on in the world right now.

Today, the worlds of TV and TVOS are surprisingly separate. TVOS is mostly about on-demand content. But as we see live video becoming an increasingly important component of OTT video, whether from platforms like Periscope or Facebook Live, or from dedicated services like Cheddar* (the live OTT video news company started by Jon Steinberg, covering business as culture), I expect well see the integration of live video into idle TVOS screens.

Not to do so would be an incredible missed opportunity.* Lightspeed is an investor in Cheddar

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