We want our Apple Web TV because live TV viewing still dominates

I don’t want Apple to rush its (rumored) television streaming service (which I’ve dubbed Apple Web TV), but it will certainly be an important asset for our favorite tech company. Despite the proliferation of new technologies, such as smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and subscription video on-demand (SVOD), live TV viewing still rules.

Nielsen — a company that provides media and advertising clients with total audience measurement services for all devices on which content (video, audio and text) is consumed — has released its fourth-quarter 2015 Local Watch Report.

The Local Watch Report analyzes local TV viewing habits and the degree to which the proliferation of new technologies, such as smartphones, smart TVs, tablets and SVOD, influence different markets. The latest data shows that live TV remains the primary medium to consume video. Americans spend four hours and seven minutes per day watching live TV and another 28 minutes watching time-shifted TV. 

According to Nielsen, in the fourth quarter of 2015, over-the-top (OTT) viewing options grew 2% to 8%, depending on the device, compared to November 2014. (OTT refers to he delivery of film and TV content via the Internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service like a Comcast or Time Warner Cable. Netflix and Amazon Prime are examples.)

Smart TV ownership across the U.S. is at 20%. Tablet penetration in the U.S. is at 56%, and smartphone penetration in the U.S. is at 82%. 

What do we know about Apple's rumored TV service? The Wall Street Times says that Apple is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks that will be available on Apple gadgets such as the Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. The service will reportedly have about 25 channels and cost between US$30 and $40 per month. 

Apple’s Web TV offering will likely be anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, but won’t include smaller channels typically included in a standard cable TV package. The rumor mill says the original plan was for Apple Web TV to launch aside the fourth gen Apple TV. That didn’t happen, apparently because the company couldn’t hammer out deals with various TV networks and companies.