Originally Posted by Porchland
I do not think Apple can take a TV subscription package beyond niche status unless they (1) have all or nearly all of the major network shows, and (2) have the major live programming -- sports, news, award shows, etc. Apple will not be able to get a critical mass of people to adopt an Apple TV subscription package unless it allows them to cancel their cable TV subscription.
I think it's possible Apple could start with deals with just a few big players - for example, a subscription to Discovery Networks. That wouldn't mean streaming Discovery channels, but access to a great library of Discovery content (for a subscription fee) that can be selected and watched just like buying/renting content now.
* A deal with ABC (including Disney, Family, ESPN) might make sense.
* Or NBC (USA & Scifi channels)
* Or a Movie Network subscription - just allowing any movie shown on the regular channel in the last week to be downloaded free (to be watched within a month, just like rental).
They could target the people who occassionally wonder if they need their cable subscription, and niche viewers. Maybe that's only 10% of people, but it would be a significant start.
Originally Posted by anantksundaram
Some kernels of good ideas here, but no way/no how that Apple is going to get into the cable subscription business. They did not get into that business model with the iPhone or iTunes, and I see no compelling reason for them to want to do it with @TV.
Only if they can make something quite different to what people expect now. And on demand programs might do that.
I personally think they need to consider 4 models for watching
1) Buy TV shows
2) Rent TV shows
3) Subscribe to "channels"
4) Insert advertising so it's all free.
#4 hasn't really been done well, and it needs a good online model (advertising still follows the old model). But Apple could put ads customised just for us, individually, into the ad spots for a show. It could force us not to skip the ads. It could provide an option to get more information (now, or later). These ads are much more valuable than regular ads... and could enable free download of the TV show that goes with them.
Originally Posted by mstone
I really don't see Apple having live local news.
Live is more difficult - though Apple now has really beefed up support for live streaming.
By delaying slightly - AppleTV could do an amazing news service. Forget the 30min news bulletin and replace it with 2 hours of separate 30second-to-5minute stories that are accessible via a news menu. Allow us to select and watch stories individually, OR preselect (from a list) what we want to see, in long or short form, so we can watch our own custom news program. Even let us select "track updates" to a story, while watching. When opening the aTV News Screen, it could present the same 30second 'teaser' of upcoming news the networks already provide, it could preselect the stories with its best guess of our interests, let us modify our selections to then watch the news.