Apple Pitching iTunes Subscriptions to TV Networks?

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Apr 12, 2001
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MediaMemo reports that Apple has approached a number of TV networks in recent weeks to pitch its vision of a monthly subscription service that would allow the networks to deliver their content to consumers via iTunes with the idea of replacing consumers' cable packages.
Apple isn't tying the proposed service to a specific piece of hardware, like its underwhelming Apple TV box, or its long-rumored tablet/slate device. Instead, it is presenting the offer as an extension of its iTunes software, which already has a huge installed base: A year ago, Apple said it had 65 million iTunes customer accounts.

A so-called "over the top" service could theoretically rival the ones most consumers already buy from cable TV operators -- if Apple is able to get enough buy-in from broadcast and cable TV programmers.
Apple is reportedly looking to launch the service early next year but faces a number of hurdles, the most significant being that no networks have yet to sign on to the plan. Disney, which holds close ties with Apple CEO Steve Jobs and has been an early-adopter of iTunes distribution offerings, is viewed as the likely leader should the movement hope to gain momentum.

According to the report's sources, TV networks are intrigued by the potential for increased revenue streams that could be afforded by Apple's proposal, but are also leery of harming their existing relationships with the cable companies that carry their programming and advertisers who look to viewership numbers on those systems when targeting their campaigns.

The report notes that other companies, including Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and Google's YouTube have also been moving into the digital delivery arena, indicating that the time may be right for Apple to make its move.
So Apple's proposed subscription service, which the company has floated in the past, is no longer a huge stretch. Says one executive briefed on the company's plans: "I think they might get it right this time."
Article Link: Apple Pitching iTunes Subscriptions to TV Networks?
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
Even if they just get Disney for a January launch, that would be huge.

With my local news (and even sports) broadcasting online, I would dump my cable subscription in a heartbeat.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
Price it right and I'm in.

Of course, the majority of TV shows I watch are American (How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Lost, Family Guy, South Park etc..) so I'd probably not be able to subscribe to those channels due to countries?

If it was a global thing - I could subscribe to any tv network in the world, then it could be a huge thing.
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,151
3,410
Twin Cities Minnesota
I have not used Cable TV or over the air TV for years. Everything I watch is either purchased on iTunes, or streamed from the plethora of networks offering shows to watch online.

I would welcome this feature, as many of the iTunes purchase I have made are TV shows that I have only watched a few times (unless the show is amazing).

 

mcdermd

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2004
180
3
Goodbye Dish Network?

Seriously, if this would allow me to subscribe to the three or four networks I actually watch, then it's goodbye to the $65 monthly Dish bill.
 

aokiqiao

macrumors member
Jul 24, 2009
36
0
Odessa,TX
If disney jumps aboard the rest will follow suit. Theres so many hannah montana tween viewers with ipods/iphones that they would no doubt profit off of. :rolleyes:
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
If they offer this, I bet they introduce a streaming model to iTunes. I don't see them offering a "pick 10 TV Shows for $29.99 per month" or whatever. I don't want to download and store the content anyway.
 

zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
There are only a few cable networks that I'd like to watch. I'm not going to pay $50.00+ per month for dozens of other channels that I'll never watch. $4.99 per network per month and I'd be all over this. Two or three cable networks would be affordable at this price and worth paying for.

I knew it was only a matter of time before someone tried to disrupt the cable television business model. It makes sense that it's Apple.
 

ntrigue

macrumors 68040
Jul 30, 2007
3,805
1
I would pay $30/month. I don't even expect above 480i. I just feel like the major players won't agree.
 

coasterswim

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2008
344
0
Goodbye Apple Computers :(

Apple is a new company now.
Established in Cupertino, California on April 1, 1976 and incorporated January 3, 1977, the company was called Apple Computer, Inc. for its first 30 years, but dropped the word "Computer" on January 9, 2007 to reflect the company's ongoing expansion into the consumer electronics market in addition to its traditional focus on personal computers.
 

LEStudios

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2007
282
0
I have not used Cable TV or over the air TV for years. Everything I watch is either purchased on iTunes, or streamed from the plethora of networks offering shows to watch online.

I would welcome this feature, as many of the iTunes purchase I have made are TV shows that I have only watched a few times (unless the show is amazing).

Yeah I'm the same here just now I want a 27" Quad i7 iMac to do it on! :D
 

Ted13

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2003
593
278
NYC
I would pay $30/month. I don't even expect above 480i. I just feel like the major players won't agree.
??? Apple is already providing 720P TV shows through iTunes. Why in the universe would they go backwards (and why would anyone pay for such low quality)?
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,439
1,167
I'd pay just about anything for this.

I pay Comcast for the privilege using its dodgy DVR which always changes its programming to record the SD channel instead of the HD channel if it is available.

If Apple can make direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads go away, that's another plus. No, you can't just skip them. If you're a hypochondriac like me, just seeing one start or flash across the screen in a fast-forward, even for a brief second, is enough to send you into fits of anxiety.
 

caffeinejoe

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2008
64
0
Fort McMurray, AB. CANADA
The Canadian communications agency (CRTC) presently won't allow me access to certain iTunes store content, HULU, Pandora radio etc. Regrettably there is no way in hell they'd allow this service in Canada.
 

caccamolle

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2005
359
0
the Great SJ has given me all I wanted every time. Least but not last, he gave me freedom from those disgusting cable companies and their packages thanks to aTV (underperforming my behind, for my needs it's just PERFECT).

Hence, to the extent that such project/idea is conceptually the same, for the hundredth time I will have to bow to the masters' incredible mind. IT seems to me that such idea/project actually might further extend to content provider framework of the aTV. Yes !
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68030
May 28, 2008
2,862
2,271
Boring. Apple isn't going to offer the vast selection of programming I watch and certainly won't offer it in the HD quality that is expected. 1080i is where most HD cable systems are at and some of Apple's HD quality leaves a bit to be desired. I am curious on what networks do sign up and what the monthly cost would be however. Depending on the cable company you use and how much content will be available, I wonder how long it will be before your cable provider starts billing you more and more as you reach your montly usage limit. Comcast offers 250 gigs a month I think.
 

joeshell383

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2006
792
0
If disney jumps aboard the rest will follow suit. Theres so many hannah montana tween viewers with ipods/iphones that they would no doubt profit off of. :rolleyes:
Um... Last I checked Disney owned all or part of ABC, ESPN, Lifetime, SOAPNET, A&E, The History Channel and more.
 

caccamolle

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2005
359
0
Boring. Apple isn't going to offer the vast selection of programming I watch and certainly won't offer it in the HD quality that is expected. 1080i is where most HD cable systems are at and some of Apple's HD quality leaves a bit to be desired. I am curious on what networks do sign up and what the monthly cost would be however. Depending on the cable company you use and how much content will be available, I wonder how long it will be before your cable provider starts billing you more and more as you reach your montly usage limit. Comacst offers 250 gigs a month I think.
You watch way too much TV !
 

asphalt-proof

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2003
584
0
Magrathea
I haven't cable since college and even then, only watch a select few channels. Ever since iTunes began carrying Tv shows, I have wanted this option. I would pay upt o $50 a month for unlimited access, even if each episode was preceded by commercials or commercials throughout the epi, hulu-style. I would think that networks would want something like this as it would give them very solid data as to what is being watched by viewers.

I wonder if sports would get something a pay-per-view system if someone wanted to watch it in real-time?

But, yeah, I doubt this will happen. Networks seem stuck in the idea of using commercials for their revenue stream. Plus, I'm guessing the cable operators would completely revolt as it would eventually relegate them to the role of bandwidth service and management.