Apple created a content partnership that surprised a significant number of people this week, in relation to its Apple TV product. The company will be linking with Google to start providing YouTube content through the computer-to-television linkage device starting later this month, according to an announcement from earlier this week.
Previously, the device would only allow content from Apple's own iTunes to be transferred from a computer to a television set. Apple will be providing a software upgrade that will make such a switchover possible later in June.
The partnership, of course, could be a significant boon to the Apple device, as opening the product up to the massive YouTube user base could be an attractive proposition. This is really about allowing viewers to control the cross-platform distribution proposition rather than service and content providers, by giving viewers a new way to experience on-demand content on their television screens, rather than going through the official offerings of cable and satellite providers.
BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahi points out that the deal gives Google and Apple, already industry leaders in online video, a major advantage over other online video companies.
Arik writes, "It's likely to be a harbinger of future cooperation between the two companies, especially considering their existing ties." As has been previously written about, Google's CEO sits on Apple's board of directors.
I first wrote about the news when it broke last August, writing:
But this week's news is that Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt will be the newest member on Apple's Board of Directors, making an interesting link between two of the biggest companies in the online video distribution competition. Does this really amount to anything substantial, as far as altering the race to downloading? Not at this point, but the link between Apple and Google could make for an interesting atmosphere as competition heats up when all these services are up and running full-force.
This partnership reveals a substantial business move on the part of the two major companies and perhaps an attempt to create a much more solid tie between Apple's digital products and Google's ever-growing online business.
Daisy Whitney with TelevisionWeek writes, "Allowing access to YouTube could be the first step toward true PC-TV convergence. Given Apple's strong track record with the iPod, the company is poised to make significant inroads into the living room if it continues to allow consumers to access Internet video."