Apple to License AirPlay Video Streaming to HDTV Manufactures?
According to a new Bloomberg
report, Apple may be preparing to license AirPlay
video streaming technology to third party consumer-electronics companies later this year. This would be an unusual move for Apple, as they rarely license any of their technology or software to third parties. Currently, third party manufactures can license AirPlay to stream audio to their devices, but they are restricted from streaming video at this time. If Apple does license AirPlay technology to television manufacturers, then consumers would no longer need to purchase an Apple TV to view iTunes content on their HDTV’s.
Apple may wish to follow the example set by Netflix
, and license AirPlay to as many companies as possible so it too can become a standard feature on future televisions and Blu-ray players. Netflix has become so ubiquitous on so many devices including HDTV’s, game systems and smartphones, that it's difficult to find a device that doesn’t include Netflix nowadays.
According to the latest Bloomberg report, "Under the plan, Apple would license its AirPlay software to consumer-electronics makers that could use it in devices for streaming movies, TV shows and other video content, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans haven’t been made public. Apple now only licenses AirPlay for streaming audio. Devices that could be used for video may be available this year, one of the people said.”
Apple has always referred to the Apple TV as a "hobby." It’s never been very clear, however, if it is a profitable “hobby” or not. By licensing AirPlay to third party developers, Apple has the opportunity to stream content to a larger number of devices with a minimal amount of investment. If Apple can convince enough consumer-electronics companies to adopt AirPlay as a standard feature on all future devices, then there would be very little need for Apple to continue selling a standalone Apple TV. Apple currently takes in about $4 for every AirPlay compatible audio device sold. If Apple were to strike a similar deal to stream video, then AirPlay could become very profitable without much effort on their part. Hopefully, by next year we’ll all be able to buy a new HDTV that includes not only Netflix, but Apple’s AirPlay as well.