By Robert Leitch, Content Technology Manager
Once upon a time, Amazon was a store, Google was a search engine, and Apple made computers. Today, things are very different. These three behemoths are at war, and it affects us all.
Why are they fighting? There’s one simple answer: Content.
There is a tectonic shift happening in content right now that’s affecting the landscape of the industry right now. It’s hard to look at a social feed without someone boasting about cutting the cord, leaving cable in the past for streaming services. Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Google Chromecast are all enabling this shift. The battle lines have been drawn. Whoever owns the strongest gateway has a built-in advantage to deliver their exclusive content.
Where will you get your news in 5 years? 10 years? How will the babies being born today watch TV? This is the game the giants are playing.
Home automation is one of the most obvious fronts in this conflict. Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Home are the leaders in voice-control. If you believe the commercials, they’re each capable of providing you with complete power over your surroundings by just with the sound of your voice. Simplification is the name of the game. We want convenience, and we want it now.
My kids ask Alexa about the weather forecast every morning so they know what clothes to wear. I can only presume as they get older this familiarity might make them more likely to prefer other Amazon products and possibly Amazon content. See how it works?
Full Disclosure. Tech wars are not new. Much like the dinosaurs, there have been several mass extinction events in the wild wild world of technology.
Home Video Wars Pt. 1
You might have read about Beta vs VHS in your history books (if you still use books). When VCRs first came on the scene in the 80s they came in 1 of 2 formats: VHS or Beta. They were not compatible; they were one or the other. After a few years due to some strategic partnering, Beta died and VHS became the only player in town.
It happened again in 2006’s battle of the high-definition DVD market when Blu-Ray beat out HD DVD, largely because of Blu-Ray’s ability to secure exclusivity agreements with big name players like PlayStation.
Home Video Wars Pt. 2
Would it surprise you to know there are several side effects to this war you can see right now?
Amazon Prime Video will not play on Google Chromecast or Apple TV
Amazon online store does not sell Apple TV or Google Chromecast hardware
Avoid Being a Casualty of War
What are smart consumers to do? The only real recourse we have is to keep an open mind and not get frustrated. If you fall in love with a platform or piece of hardware, just know that it could become obsolete in no time. Don't get too attached and hopefully the effects of this content war won’t break your heart!