Echo To All submits: Throughout out the pass few days I have seen article after article about dismissing AppleTV as a viable product. The premise of these negative articles had some vindication the other day when Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs himself said at “D” that AppleTV was more of a hobby.
I disagree with the bashing of AppleTV, and I think Jobs is doing what any leader would do (and what he is greatly known for)… downplaying the importance.
Apple is a great company, and its most valuable assets are the ideas the company is able to generate and its understanding of the digital age consumer. With the creation of iTunes, and the understanding that most people want to own professional content, iTunes is a hugely successful means of content distribution.
With millions of people owning their own content ranging from (currently mostly) music to movies, this effectively makes their computers a personalized data base. The laymen out there need a product like AppleTV to take full advantage of their personalized database, especially on the video side of things.
Now the above argument is not new; it has been mentioned many times before by other bloggers. What is new now is that AppleTV users will be able to watch Google's (GOOG) YouTube on their TV. (This was always rumored to be the case, but now it is confirmed.) The fact that YouTube is on here is great, and benefits both Apple and Google.
What I find most interesting about this feature is the fact that AppleTV has opened its platform to a video site. There is nothing stopping Apple from doing a similar deal with other sites like Joost and others that offer quality content from traditional media or maybe even the media companies themselves. If Apple can pull this off cable distributors should be worried. This is when AppleTV will be a product for the masses that are truly frustrated with their bloated all-in-one cable bill.
Of course, old media stupidity may stand in the way. If I were a content creator I would make distribution deals with whomever I could, but old media does not work that way. At least not yet.