Apple tables push for TV subscriptions on iPad, seeks 99 cent episodes

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple had high hopes of delivering an all-you-can-eat buffet of television shows in the form of a subscriptions service by the time its iPad hits the market next month, but opposition from networks has forced the company to adopt Plan B: a push towards lower pricing for a la carte downloads.



In an updated version of its report on Apple's scrambles to secure last-minute content licensing deals for the iPad, The Wall Street Journal cites people familiar with the matter as saying that electronics maker is now asking that television networks agree to drop the price of their episodes to $0.99, down from $1.99 and $2.99.



The concession on Apple's part comes after the majority balked at a more ambitious attempt by company to court its largest network partners into an all-inclusive subscription service, which would have offered iPad users broad access to the catalogs of many of their favorite programs for a set monthly fee, according to the paper.



Still, Apple's struggling to achieve the networks' approval, even with its pared back strategy. People speaking anonymously to the Journal say the content providers are weary of the strategy, fearing it could ultimately hurt their business and jeopardize "the tens of billions of dollars in subscription fees they are paid by cable and satellite companies for their traditional TV networks."



In response, Apple is reportedly trying to convince the networks to make the gamble, arguing that if the price cuts prove successful, it could unlock a completely new market for digital distribution and consumption that could prove just as lucrative, if not more, than their existing deals with cable operators.



"It's also possible TV companies could offer access to their shows on the iPad through applications that would stream the videos, rather than selling them through iTunes," the report adds. "But streaming is often limited by a tangle of licenses between producers and TV networks."



Another potential hurdle Apple faces revolves around the iPad's intentional lack of support for Adobe's Flash streaming media technology, which many content partners use to showcase their multimedia content and serve online ads.



On the bright side, Apple has reportedly made much-need headway with its eBook strategy for the tablet device, as the Journal cites more people familiar with the matter as saying that all of the largest book publishers are prepared to offer catalogs that rival those of Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook platforms by the time the iPad ships on April 3rd.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    I'd buy that for a buck! I'd rather pay per episode than have a subscription.
  • Reply 2 of 89
    iguesssoiguessso Posts: 132member
    This isn't about the money, it's all about control. The networks give away their shows now - but they fear the Apple hegemony will turn them from drivers into passengers in the shift to IP based delivery.
  • Reply 3 of 89
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    I'd rather pay per episode too, rather than have a subscription.



    But... once I cross a certain point, lets say $20 worth of a-la-carte options, turn into a buffet subscription so I can watch anything I want.



    Oh and Apple, don't even think about making us be aware of which network or studio is involved to keep count. We just want the content and couldn't care less about monitoring the quota we use from each network or movie studio.
  • Reply 4 of 89
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,439member
    If Apple had the same attitude as the tv networks, they would have never released the iPhone out of fear that it would cannibalized iPod sales. Heck, nor would they have released the Mac out of fear of cannibalizing the Apple II.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Anyone who thinks Apple is trying to negotiate this TV Show subscription for the iPad is naive. They are using the iPad argument as a trojan horse for their TV set. Coming later.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post


    I'd buy that for a buck! I'd rather pay per episode than have a subscription.



    I agree with You!
  • Reply 7 of 89
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Notice Apple haven't been shouting about Text Books, this is confusing.
  • Reply 8 of 89
    I wish I could rent TV shows from iTunes. I can't see filling my bookshelves with hard drives to store hi def tv shows and having more time capsules to back up my purchases. HD file sizes have to really add up over time.
  • Reply 9 of 89
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The concession on Apple's part comes after the majority balked at a more ambitious attempt...



    No offense intended but what is this concession you speak of?



    Apple wanted to offer subscription TV (not knowing the details I certainly can't comment on how successful I think it would be) and NOW instead Apple is asking the studios to DROP the prices of their episodes from a LAUGHABLE $2 - $3 each to a somewhat less OFFENSIVE price of $1 each.



    It's not as if the studios have to pick one because they turned down the other...



    The can continue to destroy all hopes of the public embracing digital delivery... Mostly I feel, because they are trying to do everything they can to prop up BluRay as the next cash cow. Something that I think is a folly at best.



    Don't get me wrong I wanted BluRay to win over HD-DVD but at the end of the day I'm still looking at a collection of 600+ movie DVDs and 4 shelves full of TV shows and I'm not going to do it again and THEN again when they finally figure out digital distribution is the way to go.



    Also something these STUDIOS need to be reminded of...



    The longer they put INSANE prices on TV content the more people will find ALTERNATIVE SOURCES to obtain the TV shows that they forgot to DVR.



    Sorry but the studios are putting FAR to high a value on the crap they are producing... and the ratings reflect it. An entire generation (or 2) have / are growing up NOT having TV as their primary (only) source of entertainment. Just wait another 5 or 6 years and the studios will be SCREAMING for us to PLEASE buy their content for .79 per episode...



    TV shows are NOT like wine... they do not become more valuable with age... they simply get forgotten as people move on to the next thing.



    Fools... I guess they get what they deserve...
  • Reply 10 of 89
    hundohundo Posts: 6member
    Damn it. I was really hoping for a TV subscription so I could get rid of my Comcast boxes. I do tend to buy a lot of my favorite series on DVD or BluRay, but there are many more shows I enjoy to watch but don't want to keep forever. I doubt $1 a show will even come close to what I'm currently paying, especially since that pricing is probably for SD and not HD.
  • Reply 11 of 89
    iluviluv Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Another potential hurdle Apple faces revolves around the iPad's intentional lack of support for Adobe's Flash streaming media technology, which many content partners use to showcase their multimedia content and serve online ads.




    This is GREAT!



    I'm hoping that I can set things up to download every episode of every show I like, so that it will download ASAP into my iTunes library.



    It will be like a DVR, but better! And at 99 cents, it is very affordable!
  • Reply 12 of 89
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Notice Apple haven't been shouting about Text Books, this is confusing.



    I agree...



    Either this story is portraying TV shows with far too much importance... Very possible...



    OR



    Apple is one screwed up company...



    Look the iPad isn't HD... it isn't even conducive to watching TV and yet somehow Apple had this MAJOR PLAY that would have put the iPad as the centerpiece of their TV subscription plan?!?!



    Sorry but that's just about as bad as Steve trying to explain why the newest iPod sensation only supports MONO.



    Sorry... but either Apple has really and truly lost it.. or this story is trying to make the iPad into something that it was never built to be. Can you imagine Apple trying to sell a subscription service to the studios...



    Quote:

    "Oh, HD you say?!?!?! Ummm well... ahh ... check THIS out, the iPad is SO THIN!"



    Yea... Selling a subscription service with an SD ONLY device is almost as stupid as trying to sell a subscription service on todays Kindle ..
  • Reply 13 of 89
    iluviluv Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post


    I wish I could rent TV shows from iTunes. I can't see filling my bookshelves with hard drives to store hi def tv shows and having more time capsules to back up my purchases. HD file sizes have to really add up over time.



    I sure can! I'll buy lots of terabyte drives to store all the HD content. And more Time Capsules!



    The User Experience will be unmatched!



    TIVO is going to DIE.
  • Reply 14 of 89
    woohoo!woohoo! Posts: 291member
    Quote:

    Apple tables push for TV subscriptions on iPad, seeks 99 cent episodes





    WHAT??!!!



    Screw that!!! Try 99¢ to rent the season!





    I got Netflix, a PS3/$99 Roku and we can stream as much as we want for a mere $8 and change a month.



    Our family watches 2 movies before the kids go off to bed and then the two of us watch one TV show each before falling off to sleep.



    To do that with Apple would be about $16-$18 a day or about $600 a month AND it won't carry nearly everything like neutral Netflix does because Steve Jobs is Disney's/ABC's largest shareholder, so there is a conflict of interest.





    There is a reason why TV shows have advertising, it's because in general people can't or won't pay to watch TV shows. If Apple wants to sell a lot of iPads, they need to get cheap content. Not expensive content.



    So at 99¢ a TV show the iPad is not cost effective and worth it's high price, but it may make a good occasional use system. A parent needing to occupy children away from home will gladly pay 99¢ for a Hanna Montana or Barney show on a 3G iPad to get a break. I think this is what Apple is aiming for along with the closed nature of the iPad.



    I've said it before and say it again, the primary market for the iPad is young children as a entry level/early learning and entertainment computing appliance.
  • Reply 15 of 89
    iluviluv Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post




    Sorry... but either Apple has really and truly lost it.. or this story is trying to make the iPad into something that it was never built to be. Can you imagine Apple trying to sell a subscription service to the studios...




    The iPad does so support HD. It is 768 which is HD. More FUD from a Hater...
  • Reply 16 of 89
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 906member
    I'm all for lowering the prices of TV episodes, but aside from that, we just bought a season pass for season 20 of "Law and Order" for $25.99 which got us 16 episodes so far, which works out to $1.63 per. Season 19 had 22 episodes, so the price per may go down to about $1.18 or so.



    But even at $1.99 per episode, it's worth it to us for being commercial-free, and for knowing that each time we watch the show that it will be an episode we haven't seen before.



    We also buy season passes to "NCIS".



    I think it would ultimately be better for us the viewers if the whole system evolved into something like what it is now on the Apple Store. That way we the viewers can more directly "vote" on shows with our "wallets" instead of being subjected to behind the scenes deals between studios and cable providers.



    We also love our Apple TV and look forward to future enhancements of it.
  • Reply 17 of 89
    archer75archer75 Posts: 204member
    I'm not paying .99 per episode. It would end up costing me more than twice the cost of my satellite subscription. Nor do I need to watch TV anywhere other than my TV. I do have an HTPC connected to my PC and watch many TV shows and movies through it which works well. Can't use the apple tv as it doesn't support my various formats, 7.1 audio, TrueHD or DTS-MA HD. Pretty much makes that a useless device for me.
  • Reply 18 of 89
    joeyyyjoeyyy Posts: 35member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Look the iPad isn't HD... it isn't even conducive to watching TV and yet somehow Apple had this MAJOR PLAY that would have put the iPad as the centerpiece of their TV subscription plan?!?!



    First, this is NOT just for the iPad but rather for the whole iTunes Store. The iPad is used as a way to finally convince the studios to agree to this plan. Apple failed to do this with the AppleTV, they are hoping that with the iPod they have more laverage.



    Second, there is added value in the ability to consume TV on the go, and the iPad with its bigger screen is a step up from the iPhone.
  • Reply 19 of 89
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    I agree...



    Either this story is portraying TV shows with far too much importance... Very possible...



    OR



    Apple is one screwed up company...



    Look the iPad isn't HD... it isn't even conducive to watching TV and yet somehow Apple had this MAJOR PLAY that would have put the iPad as the centerpiece of their TV subscription plan?!?!



    Sorry but that's just about as bad as Steve trying to explain why the newest iPod sensation only supports MONO.



    Sorry... but either Apple has really and truly lost it.. or this story is trying to make the iPad into something that it was never built to be. Can you imagine Apple trying to sell a subscription service to the studios...







    Yea... Selling a subscription service with an SD ONLY device is almost as stupid as trying to sell a subscription service on todays Kindle ..



    Much of what you've said makes sense, and I agree there's a huge amount of inconsistencies apparent that don't seem to reconcile very well, IF their efforts are all intended for the iPad. But.... another thing I noticed was that you used the word "Mono". Are you serious, the iPad is mono??? Please say it's not true.
  • Reply 20 of 89
    techstudtechstud Posts: 124member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Anyone who thinks Apple is trying to negotiate this TV Show subscription for the iPad is naive. They are using the iPad argument as a trojan horse for their TV set. Coming later.



    So are you implying that the AppleTV as we know it is a dead horse? Help me out because you know how stupid I am as you stated prior.
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