On Monday it was announced that Apple made a deal with a company called Rovi that could potentially see the firm’s TV listings guide make its way to the Apple TV, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.
Per a filing with the US Security and Exchange commission, Rovi Corp. — a company that specializes in digital entertainment services — has entered into a multi-year agreement with Apple whereby Apple shall license intellectual property from Rovi. The specific terms of the license agreement are confidential.
According to claims at the Rovi web site:
° Approximately 111 million subscribers and 91 million CE devices worldwide use their guidance technology.
° The Rovi content protection technology is on approximately nine billion DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
° More than 500 million devices are enabled with their protection technology.
° Rovi has active advertising rights in place with approximately 121 million guides worldwide.
° The company has a unique catalog of entertainment metadata for TV, movies, music and games that includes: more than 1.2 million TV series episodes since 1954; more than 1.8 million pop and classical music albums and 16 million tracks; and more than 430,000 movie titles.
Rovi also licenses interactive program guide and digital content protection technologies to third parties so they can “facilitate navigation of digital entertainment media and protect valuable assets.”
Munster and two other Piper Jaffray analysts told clients — as reported by “CNET” (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20016983-17.html?tag=mncol) — that they believe the licensed services will be making their way to the Apple TV and eventually, an all-in-one Apple television (something Munster has predicted before). The analysts say that Apple’s deal with Rovi provides “further evidence that Apple is developing live TV and DVR features for its Apple TV product.”
The latest rev of the Apple TV — due in 2-4 weeks — has no onboard storage. Some sort of local storage would be required to add DVR functionality to the device. Andrew Murphy, one of the analysts who worked on the note, said in a phone conversation that the functionality could potentially be added to “a future Apple TV product.”
But the new Apple TV is a stepping stone for something much greater, Munster and his cohorts contend. They said a more capable Apple TV “is another step in the direction of an all-in-one Apple television.” In fact, over the next couple years, the analysts believe the company’s new Apple TV, which boasts television show and movie streaming, as well as Netflix content, will attract more customers than its predecessor, potentially setting the stage for a television.