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Apple Negotiating With Cable Companies and Networks to Allow Viewers to Pay to Skip Commercials

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Technology journalist Jessica Lessin, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, reports that Apple has been negotiating with cable companies and TV networks to allow customers to skip commercials and Apple would compensate programmers for the lost revenue.

Viewers could potentially pay Apple to skip commercials on a per show or per channel basis, get live commercial-free viewing of new episodes with the purchase of a Season Pass on the iTunes Store, or Apple could even offer an entire commercial-free TV subscription service.

Lessin writes:
In recent discussions, Apple told media executives it wants to offer a "premium" version of the service that would allow users to skip ads and would compensate television networks for the lost revenue, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Consumers, of course, are already accustomed to fast-forwarding through commercials on their DVRs, and how Apple's technology differs is unclear.

It is a risky idea. Ad-skipping would disrupt the entrenched system of television ratings--the basis for buying TV ads. In fact, television broadcasters sued Dish Network when it introduced similar technology last year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the D11 conference earlier this year that the company has a "grand vision" for the television, and that the current TV viewing experience "could be better". It's been previously reported that Apple wants to erase the distinction between live and on-demand video content.

Apple is rumored to have both a full-on television set as well as a more conventional set-top box in the works, in addition to its existing "hobby", as Tim Cook calls the current Apple TV box.

Article Link: Apple Negotiating With Cable Companies and Networks to Allow Viewers to Pay to Skip Commercials
 

donutbagel

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2013
932
0
Pay to skip? I'd rather record over coax like every other box out there and skip them myself, but this is still good. I'm guessing Apple is going to take a commission for this, so I hope they don't make it so high that no cable companies agree.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
The irony of ad skipping is that the best shows on TV these days are on premium pay channels w/o ads. And everything most people watch DVR style and FF the ads anyway. So interesting idea, but it doesn't get me excited.

What would get me excited, but can't happen, is a completely a la cart "build your own" cable service.
 
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thisisdallas

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2012
233
35
Cupertino, CA
Pay to skip? I'd rather record over coax like every other box out there and skip them myself, but this is still good. I'm guessing Apple is going to take a commission for this, so I hope they don't make it so high that no cable companies agree.

I don't think the user would be charged for skipping, if I understand right. It sounds like Apple is attempting to lure the individual networks (by essentially paying them for something lots of people will do lots of times) in to their service to create a sort of an a la carte channel system that would be like hulu meets live TV.

If I don't understand it right, then I would be much more enticed to buy into the service if it was as I just described.
 
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Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
401
won't be going back to cable any time soon. Give me details of your subscription-service, Apple... then we'll talk.
 
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Larsonator

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2013
27
0
Pandora has been so much better after I payed the premium -- I don't see how this would be any different.
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
I don't think the user would be charged for skipping, if I understand right. It sounds like Apple is attempting to lure the individual networks (by essentially paying them for something lots of people will do lots of times) in to their service to create a sort of an a la carte channel system that would be like hulu meets live TV.

If I don't understand it right, then I would be much more enticed to buy into the service if it was as I just described.

If Apple offers their service for free.

If not - you're (absorbed in the subscription free) going to be paying...
 
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lkrupp

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2004
1,072
1,645
What part of "Nothing is Free" don't people get? Skipping commercials means fewer sales for advertisers. Fewer sales for advertisers means they start spending less on ads. Spending less on ads means less money for producing content. It's called a feedback loop, a downward spiral. Without ads content producers must charge more for their product to providers and subscription prices go up more than they already are. Paying to skip ads is one possibility but the bottom line still remains. We, the consumers, are going to pay one way or the other.

So rant all you want to about skipping ads, about the price of cable, satellite, and any other service provider. You will pay more for your favorite show. You are not getting away with anything, no matter what you think.
 
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Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,002
60
Premià de Mar
I don't think the user would be charged for skipping, if I understand right. It sounds like Apple is attempting to lure the individual networks (by essentially paying them for something lots of people will do lots of times) in to their service to create a sort of an a la carte channel system that would be like hulu meets live TV.

If I don't understand it right, then I would be much more enticed to buy into the service if it was as I just described.

The quote says that it is a premium subscription for the viewers
 
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charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,632
815
Los Angeles, CA
Something tells me that the article doesn't have it exactly right. The eps on the iTunes Store are already ad free and the nets get money by the view.

My guess is that they are trying to get the eps up faster, especially for HBO etc and perhaps are trying to revive some variant of the rental scheme. Like for a few dollars more you could buy a season pass that allows you to download as of noon the next day but stream to your Apple TV at the same time as OTA. They might even restrict it to the Apple TV as a way to counter issues with pirating. Same if they included the iPad but with a way to block airplay and using HDMI adapters.

Such a thing would be season pass only. Which would be fine if the pricing came down. Most shows now could use a major drop. Frankly I think it should be based on episode length more than network. Like 99 cents for 30 minutes, 1.99 for one hour, 2.99 for 90. Season pass would be the total minus say a 15-20% discount for just downloading. If you want the same as OTA that might be a blanket $5 surcharge on top of the pass. And that's the HD set price. No more of this SD/HD pricing and all shows get at least 720p and CC, alt languages etc as appropriate (which also needs to happen with movies)
 
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StarPower

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2012
63
0
This is the revolutionary Apple I know and love. They're going to get ganged up on and hated on more than ever by Media companies and their allies. It's a ballsy move and I hope consumer sheep don't buy into the hate that will come from this waged war as this is once again something Apple is doing to improve THEIR lives. Apple needs all the strength they can generate to make this revolutionary step.
 
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milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,888
518
It's not clear what's the difference between having to manually skip, and not having ads show up at all? Seems pretty clear to me, and it's extremely appealing, just depends on what the price would be.
 
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Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,267
85
I'm all for this, but (and I hate to even say this) I'm somewhat skeptical as to whether Apple can close a major deal like this without Steve.
 
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Thanatoast

macrumors 65816
Dec 3, 2002
1,007
177
Denver
I'll be interested to see what the rates are. How much does Bounty pay to show me paper towel ads and how much will I pay to watch my content instead?
 
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Otis Bagotis

macrumors member
May 9, 2013
50
11
I'm all for this, but (and I hate to even say this) I'm somewhat skeptical as to whether Apple can close a major deal like this without Steve.

I respectfully disagree. Eddy Cue is the man behind all the ballsiest negotiations Apple has secured. If anyone can pull it off it's him.
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
I respectfully disagree. Eddy Cue is the man behind all the ballsiest negotiations Apple has secured. If anyone can pull it off it's him.

I agree. After all - he made those eBook negotiations that had no negative consequences! Oh wait... :eek: ;)
 
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iAi

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2012
291
0
I think the world would be a better place if people watched less TV,

... and even much more better if we spend less time, moaning about people spending a lot of time watching TV. :p

Disclaimer: I stop watching or do not watch TV too.
 
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lolkthxbai

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2011
1,364
417
IMO, I rather have a channel as an app on my ATV and pay an in-app premium to have commercial free viewing. I'm not sure what they would do with that extra 5-10 minutes though.
 
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