One of the most called upon features of modern streaming devices is for the ability to instantly search across the variety of streaming apps and see what movies and TV shows are available where.
For example, if you’re looking for where to stream TV shows online, it would be amazing to have one search bar on a streaming device that could then hook into your subscriptions and tell you if and where a specific show is available.
BuzzFeed reported today that this might just be on the way in the next iteration of Apple TV.
Now here’s where we think the details sort of break down. Apple hasn’t explicitly stated what services would integrate into this search, and it seems nearly impossible to imagine getting Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to play nicely with one another long enough to get their entire catalog’s indexed. Amazon is directly competing with Apple in a variety of functions, including both devices and pay to play streaming content.
While of course users would benefit from this functionality, Netflix would certainly rather have you streaming directly through their service to keep the branding across the content consistent. Search functionality like this could easily remove “I stream all my movies on Netflix” to “I stream all my movies on Apple TV;” certainly not the type of user shift a company like Netflix would want to see.
But of course for the big three streaming services, if a bunch of smaller upstarts agree to index their content through Apple TV, and repetitious searches inform users of competitor content libraries, there is certainly an issue there as well. The last thing Netflix or Hulu wants is all Apple TV owners searching for content and seeing other services offering similar movie catalogs.
Eventually, after the singularity perhaps, we will all stream our entertainment from one omnipotent company, surely, but while things are still a bit ‘wild west’ we’re curious just how well the competing services can interact.