Eddy Cue: Apple TV Remains 'Add-On' Device, Will Continue to Improve

Apple executive Eddy Cue sat down with CNN senior correspondent Brian Stelter this week to answer a wide range of questions about the new Apple TV, reiterating how Apple believes an app-based TV experience is the future.

Cue described the new Apple TV as an "add-on for most people," rather than a true cable-cutting experience, since channels such as ABC, CNN and WatchESPN still require authenticating with a cable or satellite TV subscription.


That could change if Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service launches in the future, but the company has reportedly faced difficulties and delays in ongoing negotiations with content providers. Cue did not discuss those rumors, but did speak vaguely about original programming.

Stelter: "There have been rumors that Apple is going to get into licensing, actually financing TV shows, basically what Netflix and Hulu do today. Can you clear it up for us? Is that true?"

Cue: "We love working with our partners. We’re great at technology, and they’re great at creating content, and we think that’s a great partnership to have."

While still an "add-on," Cue said that the new Apple TV is a "much better experience" for consuming content compared to traditional cable or satellite TV. Cue said TV has historically been a "closed" ecosystem, but the new Apple TV changes that by allowing content providers to create interactive app-based experiences.


Cue downplayed the need for "exclusive" content on Apple TV, and said that Apple's goal is to "build technologies that let developers do things that they can't do anywhere else." He added that "we certainly don't think there's anybody that can do this on a TV today," which "by sheer nature may be exclusive."

Stelter said that authenticating with a cable or satellite TV subscription remains a problem with the current TV experience, and Cue said those are areas where Apple can "continue to innovate" and "make better" through future software updates, but he also stressed that services such as HBO GO, Hulu and Netflix already have a one-tap subscription process.

The new Apple TV is available online now and launches in stores on Friday, October 30.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
109 months ago
Eddy Cue oozes self-delusion, self-satisfaction and smugness. He really comes across as such a snake-oil salesman, I always cringe when he speaks at keynotes.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Godzilla71 Avatar
109 months ago
Translation: We are still having problems with content providers cooperating so It will remain an "Add-On" for the moment.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lexdexia Avatar
109 months ago
I wonder if future updates to tvOS will make the user interface more laggy.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdelvecchio Avatar
109 months ago
Can someone explain to me why in the world anyone would buy an overpriced Apple TV? I used to think Roku was king, but when the $40 Amazon TV Fire Stick came out, that all changed. (And it goes on sale quite often for much less).
er, how do i access my existing iTunes purchase history on either of those devices? I'm happily part of the apple ecosystem, so if it doesnt do iTunes content its DOA for me.

Not at all. It works with all the major providers, (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Crackle, ESPN... just to name a few.) Also, if there is an Android app for your provider then it will work with the Amazon Stick.
iTunes is a major provider, and it doesnt support iTunes content.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Flow39 Avatar
109 months ago
Apple, please don't start creating your own TV shows. Please.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
George Dawes Avatar
109 months ago
Not a great advert for the product
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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