Apple may have focused their Thursday presentation on a MacBook Pro refresh, they also discussed a new app for video consumption, helpfully titled TV. The app accesses your video streaming services and presents information based on your current streaming habits, as well as recommendations from Apple itself.
Obviously, for TV to be successful, or even useful, it will require participation from the big content providers. Heavily featured in the presentation were services like Hulu and HBO Now, but some services were conspicuously missing. Namely, Netflix was nowhere to be found anywhere in the presentation, either in demo or even in screenshots. This could have been a mistake, but it wasn't. A Netflix spokesperson told Wired,
I can confirm we are not participating and evaluating the opportunity.
So, while Food Network content will be listed, nothing on Netflix will be. The majority of video streaming takes place through Netflix. In fact, the amount of video watched is so large that Netflix gets its own line item in bandwidth usage studies. As I write this article, I am streaming a television show on Netflix. The lack of Netflix participation in TV will make its usefulness almost non-existent.
Unfortunately for Apple, Netflix isn't the only high-profile service missing. Amazon Instant Video is also conspicuously missing, though not surprisingly. Amazon Instant Video has never been available on Apple TV, so their lack of participation in the TV app is no surprise. It will, however, make the app a lot less effective, but it will drive potential sales to iTunes.
Amazon is a longshot, but if Apple hopes to make TV the place people actually want to go, they will absolutely need Netflix participation.