After decades of trial ventures that failed to be both technically sound and consumer-friendly enough for national success, it looks like interactive TV is finally ready for public consumption. More than three-quarters of all U.S. television households have smart TV sets or TV-connected devices (sticks, plug-ins or set-top boxes) with the ability to handle interactive services or applications. Consumer viewing through smart sets and devices continues to be on the rise, now above 10 billion hours of content and apps per month, according to Nielsen data released earlier this spring. The operating systems within smart sets and devices have been made upgradable to deploy new services. For all that functionality, what may be the tipping point for a mass interactive marketplace is the fast-surging number of sets and devices with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and other artificial intelligence-powered voice features allowing users to control what's on with their voice as well as with their remote control.
Spectrum, the major cable system owner, begins a new line of business this month -- scripted TV provider. What's more, the scripted series commissioned will come to millions of consumers initially through video-on-demand.
We've had a few weeks to digest what Apple showcased at its big Silicon Valley presentation. As everyone in both the technology and television universes await more details on the assortment of services the company will debut this fall, led by Apple TV+, what are the key takeaways here? Equally important, what should Apple do between now and launch to give these services their best chance to win over the American public, followed by the world at large?