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Apple's "assertive" negotiation tactics have made it difficult for the company to establish deals with cable providers and networks, reports The Wall Street Journal, stymieing its efforts to build a more robust television platform.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple started talking with the Walt Disney Company in early 2015 about getting Disney-owned content onto its then-planned streaming television service, but Apple executives, iTunes chief Eddy Cue in particular, made demands networks were not prepared to meet.

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In particular, Apple wanted to freeze for several years the monthly rate per viewer it would pay to license Disney channels. TV channels usually get annual rate increases and rely on them to fuel profit growth.

Disney balked. Similar talks with media giants that included 21st Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp. also stalled.
Apple sees TV as a way to push further product growth, but persuasion tactics that have worked in the mobile phone and music industries aren't working in the television industry. Content providers are reluctant to agree to Apple's terms because it would compromise traditional revenue streams. As The Wall Street Journal points out, inking a "sweetheart" deal with Apple could lead to traditional cable distributors demanding similar deals.

Over the last several years, Apple has made several attempts to enter the television market, seeking deals with Time Warner, Comcast, and other providers, but nothing has panned out. In one instance, Apple wanted full on-demand seasons of hit shows and a recording feature that would include ad-skipping in newly aired shows, something cable executives were surprised by.
Apple sought payments of $10 a month per subscriber from the cable providers and refused to rule out seeking an even higher share of each monthly subscription in the future, according to people involved in the talks. It also wanted users to sign in with Apple IDs, even though Comcast and Time Warner Cable would handle billing and customer service.
Up until last year, Apple was still in talks for a streaming television service that would bundle several popular live channels and on-demand television at a price point of approximately $30 per month, but Apple reportedly put the project on hold after being unable to establish the necessary deals because content providers were reluctant to unbundle their channels. Cue, who leads most of the deals, is known for his "hard-nosed" negotiating style and refuses to settle for less than what Apple wants.

Instead, Apple has shifted towards positioning its Apple TV set top box and the tvOS App Store as a platform to allow networks to share their own original content. Apple is also following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon Video with original programming aimed at promoting services like Apple Music and the App Store.

Three shows are in the works: a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre called "Vital Signs," a reality series that follows App Store developers called "Planet of the Apps," and a music-based reality show that's a spinoff of "Carpool Karaoke."

Article Link: Apple's 'Hard-Nosed' Negotiating Tactics Leading to Trouble in Television Market
 

DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
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3,377
NYC
Bottom line, cable execs care about the bottom line. They aren't going to risk slaying the golden goose by handing control to Apple. Doesn't matter if Apple can provide a better user experience. Until their profits are so diminished by piracy that it threatens their business model (which is still a fair ways off), cable companies are going to make token efforts toward user convenience.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,837
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Canada
Apple need to compromise, instead of having things their own way. They may have actually got a TV product out.

So.. Apple wanted unbundled content, only for themselves to bundle content back up again. The customer does not want bundled TV, they want to be able to pick and choose what they want.
 

twocents

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2016
425
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California, USA
I'm starting to get the same vibe from Cue as Forstall. Heck, I usually tune out during his awkward segments during keynotes. But the Music app has been on the decline since iOS 8.4 and Phil now has been taking over for him with the App Store. iTunes is also in much need of a complete rethink.
 

djcerla

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2015
2,310
11,991
Italy
Apparently Cook and Cue don't share the same "je ne sais quoi" as Steve Jobs. (But, we all knew that already.)

Record companies and TV/movies studios are very different beasts.

For example, there's no free youtube or ad-supported free streaming tier for movies/TV shows (and there shouldn't be for music, either).
 
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niun

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
686
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Apple is also following in the footsteps of Netflix and Amazon Video with original programming aimed at promoting services like Apple Music and the App Store.

I must have missed the Netflix original shows purely aimed at promoting Netflix services.
Also, "following in the footsteps"... Blundering around in the dark might be more accurate.

a dark semi-autobiographical drama starring Dr. Dre called "Vital Signs,

I thought this was just a feature length ad for Apple Music?
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,779
41,982
USA
So LOL at aggressive being in quotes. Apple is aggressive. No need to put air quotes around it.

Also - funny how Apple doesn't want a flexible payment schedule over time but yet was trying to negotiate an increase of revenue (above $10) over time. Hypocrisy?
 

Stpike2001

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2015
34
32
USA
There are two sides of the table. Apple may be "hard-nosed" but networks are "reluctant" to change and evolve. Which of course worked real well for newspapers and magazines to dig heels in.
This ^^. Cable TV and cable networks are a complete racket, that with each passing year is looking more like the land line phone company (Bell) from yesteryear. In 20 years, I think we will remember in quaint fondness over the obsolescence of the cable tv the way we do when we see a Bell telephone haning on a kitchen wall in a movie... you know, the one with the 10 foot tangled coiled cord.
 

citysnaps

macrumors G4
Oct 10, 2011
11,863
25,767
Apparently Cook and Cue don't share the same "je ne sais quoi" as Steve Jobs. (But, we all knew that already.)

No... When Jobs brought music labels on board to iTunes the music industry was in a shambles, and the labels would have jumped at anything. They needed Apple. Afterwards, many music execs felt that they were played, ceeding too much to Apple.

It's a much different dynamic today with far more opportunities for content providers, and, with execs remembering how much Aplle got away with in the past with music. Different times. Jobs would not have the leverage today that he had with iTunes.
 

Waterndirt

macrumors member
Dec 17, 2014
63
56
California
Seems to me if Apple continued to innovate the ATV then cable co's would be motivated to jump on board. It was my understanding that ATV was touted as being the center of the household, but what can you really do with it right now? Consumers want more games, more home kit controls, better (solid) integration with iTunes, etc. Give us a reason to turn it on in the first place. I'm happy with my cable provider, its always on, never have to sign in and don't have to update anything!

But the writing is on the wall, cable co's better figure it out.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
24,126
31,161
Bottom line, cable execs care about the bottom line. They aren't going to risk slaying the golden goose by handing control to Apple. Doesn't matter if Apple can provide a better user experience. Until their profits are so diminished by piracy that it threatens their business model (which is still a fair ways off), cable companies are going to make token efforts toward user convenience.
What better user experience does tvOS bring? I'm currently a DirecTV customer and I have no issues with their user interface. I think Apple has a long way to go before it can claim tvOS is a superior user experience.
 
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