Apple pitches $30 a month iTunes TV subscriptions - report

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has reportedly reached out to TV networks in recent weeks with a proposed $30-per-month subscription plan to deliver content via iTunes -- a service it hopes to launch in early 2010.



Citing multiple sources, Peter Kafka at MediaMemo said Apple's subscription proposal is not based on any specific piece of hardware, like the Apple TV or forthcoming tablet. Rather, the plan would stick with the existing iTunes desktop software.



"Apple has told industry executives it wants to launch the service early next year," the report said, "but I have yet to hear of a single programmer that has made a firm commitment to the company, which has tasked iTunes boss Eddy Cue with promoting the idea."



If anyone does bite, the first expected is Disney, of which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder. Disney was the first to allow its content on iTunes and saw tremendous early success.



Kafka said that industry executives are "intrigued" by the prospect of a subscription plan on iTunes, as they are looking for new revenue streams as advertising returns diminish. However, cable networks are concerned about sacrificing existing relationships with providers like Comcast, and all content providers are worried that advertising revenue could decrease if live viewership shrinks.



"So Apple's proposed subscription service, which the company has floated in the past, is no longer a huge stretch," the report said. "Says one executive briefed on the company’s plans: 'I think they might get it right this time.'"



Apple has been long rumored to provide a subscription option for TV content. In August, Gene Munster, senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray, said he believes that Apple would release a new Apple TV in conjunction with a subscription TV account. But the agreements necessary to offer a subscription service would take some time.



"Apple could leverage its deep library of content with many network and cable channel content owners to provide unlimited access to a sub-library of its TV shows for a standard monthly fee ($30 or $40 per month)," Munster writes. "Such a product would effectively replace a consumer's monthly cable bill (~$85/month) and offer access to current and older episodes of select shows on select channels."



Last week, the Apple TV software was updated to version 3.0. Improvements included a newly redesigned interface, support for iTunes Extras and iTunes LP, and streaming Internet radio.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 188
    No way. Apple will not get into the subscription business. They did not go the MVNO route with the iPhone when they could have, and they won't do it here.



    In any event, I doubt that NBC - which will be owned by Comcast - will sign on.
  • Reply 2 of 188
    asciiascii Posts: 5,930member
    If you had access to *all* the TV shows on iTunes for that price it might be worth it.
  • Reply 3 of 188
    YES!!!! Oh that will be great!
  • Reply 4 of 188
    I would take it ASAP. I'm in Sweden though and here Apple really need to accelerate if they want to take a seat worth defending in the long run!!!
  • Reply 5 of 188
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    No way. Apple will not get into the subscription business. They did not go the MVNO route with the iPhone when they could have, and they won't do it here.



    In any event, I doubt that NBC - which will be owned by Comcast - will sign on.



    MVNO WILL be for the nano phone .

    and what does mvno have to do with TV service ??

    I thought it was a phone carrier billing SW .



    peace

    9
  • Reply 6 of 188
    My SD TIVO I lifetime was fun while it lasted. if Apple does HD on this I'll be intrigued, though I'd have to pay cable more for internet w/o TV.
  • Reply 7 of 188
    512ke512ke Posts: 774member
    I doubt the networks will go for it unless the shows include commercials. They just found out that people who Tivo still watch almost half of the commercials. It's the major revenue stream worth a lot more than $30/month.



    And if there are going to commercials, then why pay for what you can get for free simply by clicking on Hulu.com etc?



    I don't see the business model for this personally.
  • Reply 8 of 188
    I don't understand this at all. Why would I pay $30 a month for something I can get for free? I can go to Hulu.com and watch hundreds of TV shows for free.
  • Reply 9 of 188
    At $30, I only see this being an attractive offer if the selection isn't limited to only certain shows, and can be streamed instantly in both iTunes and on Apple TV (as opposed to having to download the entire episode in HD and SD first — annoying). If Apple was smart, they'd be working to include iTunes streaming on other manufacturers' televisions, set top boxes and game consoles in the same fashion that Netflix and Blockbuster streaming is finding it's way into all of those devices. They're going to get nowhere fast if they keep trying to sell everyone an $230 Apple TV.
  • Reply 10 of 188
    Apple: Add Fox Soccer Channel and include in the monthly subscription. Then we'll be getting somewhere.
  • Reply 11 of 188
    Wow! Apple has just so many hurdles and entrenched "interests" to overcome to make this a reality. I'll happily believe it when I see it, though.
  • Reply 12 of 188
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    No way. Apple will not get into the subscription business. They did not go the MVNO route with the iPhone when they could have, and they won't do it here.



    In any event, I doubt that NBC - which will be owned by Comcast - will sign on.



    I can?t say I see a comparison between the two. I think a subscription model for TV rentals is long overdue.
  • Reply 13 of 188
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,061member
    All I want is unlimited movie rentals for a set fee, I spend £15 (around $40) a month renting in DVD's from Lovefilm.com, I'd buy an Apple TV if they set this up.
  • Reply 14 of 188
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,587member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    No way. Apple will not get into the subscription business. They did not go the MVNO route with the iPhone when they could have, and they won't do it here.



    In any event, I doubt that NBC - which will be owned by Comcast - will sign on.



    I wouldn't be so sure - the subscription model is pretty much all people know when it comes to TV programming. I don't think Apple's resistance to the subscription model in other areas will have any effect on a TV deal. Personally I like the idea of owning my music but I will never own movies or TV programming. Because of the way Television programming works the subscription model makes perfect sense. We all love the 'weekly instalment' of whatever programmes we enjoy and this also ensures Network loyalty for the networks.



    For movies I think the 'Buy' model is ridiculous. I know some people like owning and re-visiting their movies but I think (apart from kids) they are the exception.



    The competition in this instance will be against the existing cable / sat providers who are not going to be very happy. For Apple the attraction is ATV sales and god knows what other kind of hardware that could follow a succesful launch of such a service.
  • Reply 15 of 188
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    If you had access to *all* the TV shows on iTunes for that price it might be worth it.



    yes...



    $30-$40/month for access to a bunch of old shows is sort of a joke... especially if you can get entire seasons of shows on DVD for closeout prices of $13-$20 each...
  • Reply 16 of 188
    I'd only be down if i could get all iTunes content with the plan. It's all or nothing for me, and I have a feeling I'm not the only one that feels this way
  • Reply 17 of 188
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    If this is supposed to replace my cable, I need live streaming for my hockey and football games and must watch tv shows (as opposed to time delayed streams, like the current delay on the availability of tv show downloads). I don't think this will be the complete solution I would need. Of course I will wait and see if anything comes of this.
  • Reply 18 of 188
    Something similar to Sirius - $14.99/month including movies, new and old, HD, watch anywhere (TV, iPod, iPhone). Add iTunes Music for only $4.99 extra month. $19.99 for the whole iTunes library.
  • Reply 19 of 188
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    All I want is unlimited movie rentals for a set fee, I spend £15 (around $40) a month renting in DVD's from Lovefilm.com, I'd buy an Apple TV if they set this up.



    Yep, count me in. Unlimited movie rentals would be sweet.
  • Reply 20 of 188
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post


    Something similar to Sirius - $14.99/month including movies, new and old, HD, watch anywhere (TV, iPod, iPhone). Add iTunes Music for only $4.99 extra month. $19.99 for the whole iTunes library.



    And your justification for such a plan would be?
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