Apple execs have discussed the 'future of TV' with major media companies

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple is said to be pushing forward with its plans to launch a full-fledged television set, holding meetings with media executives and sharing their vision for the future of the living room, including the possibility of storing recorded TV content in iCloud.



Apple executives have been meeting with executives from media companies to discuss "their vision for the future of TV," according to The Wall Street Journal. Those meetings, which have included Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, reportedly been vague discussions about how users could access content "across phones, tablets and TVs."



But the report reiterated that Apple is working on its own connected television set, something that would go well beyond the company's current set-top box offering with the Apple TV.



"Apple is working on its own television that relies on wireless streaming technology to access shows, movies and other content, according to people briefed on the project," the report said.



The talks are said to have covered how Apple would stream content to users in new ways, allowing them to continue watching video across multiple devices like a TV, tablet and smartphone. But the plans also cover what could be done with Apple's existing products, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.



"The TV device Apple is working on would use a version of Apple's wireless-streaming technology AirPlay to allow users to control it from iPhones and iPads, according to people briefed on the matter," the report said. "When the company plans to start selling such a device and whether it would receive traditional broadcast or cable signals remains unclear, said these people, who say Apple may change its plans."



One system Apple is said to have worked on would integrate DVR storage into its existing iCloud service, allowing users to watch shows they have bought or recorded on multiple devices.



"The company has also talked to television-service providers about teaming up on new video services for Apple devices, according to people familiar with the matter," the report said. "It has also broached the idea of licensing content directly from media companies for some sort of subscription-TV service, resembling the packages now offered by cable operators, but the talks have been 'exploratory,' according to people familiar with the matter."







Rumors of an Apple television set have gained considerable traction since the release of the authorized biography of Steve Jobs in October. In that book, Jobs hinted to biographer Walter Isaacson that Apple was at work on a completely new device that would feature "the simplest user interface you could imagine," saying he had finally "cracked" the secret to an easy-to-use TV.



Reports have suggested that Apple's anticipated television set could arrive as early as mid 2012, while others have seen Apple announcing it in late 2012 for an early 2013 sale date. One report from earlier this month claimed the TV will come in three sizes, including 32 inches and 55 inches.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    Cook: Look, here's the deal. We're going to start offering your shows the way we offer music: Pay for access to a show, stream any episode of that show any time you want any way you want, no commercials.



    Companies: No!



    (one of them perks up): Well?



    Cook: Okay, so we'll just drop all access to the rest of you guys' stuff and let his stuff through.



    Rest: ? We fold?
  • Reply 2 of 87
    mike54mike54 Posts: 480member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Cook: Look, here's the deal. We're going to start offering your shows the way we offer music: Pay for access to a show, stream any episode of that show any time you want any way you want, no commercials.



    Companies: No!



    (one of them perks up): Well?



    Cook: Okay, so we'll just drop all access to the rest of you guys' stuff and let his stuff through.



    Rest: ? We fold?



    This one of the reasons I like Apple, I loath ads and will pay an appropriate price to not have them.
  • Reply 3 of 87
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,678member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike54 View Post


    This one of the reasons I like Apple, I loath ads and will pay an appropriate price to not have them.



    This is where iAds could kick in. Web style targeting but on the livingroom TV would be attractive for advertisers. The option to pay more in exchange for less ads would be attractive for (some) consumers. In theory, at least. The people most likely to be willing to pay to have less ads are likely the very ones the advertisers most would want to reach.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike54 View Post


    This one of the reasons I like Apple, I loath ads and will pay an appropriate price to not have them.



    Yeah. With anything else, all you get is ads.
  • Reply 5 of 87
    I can't wait to see this. I doubt I'll be able to afford it though.
  • Reply 6 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    This is where iAds could kick in. Web style targeting but on the livingroom TV would be attractive for advertisers. The option to pay more in exchange for less ads would be attractive for (some) consumers. In theory, at least. The people most likely to be willing to pay to have less ads are likely the very ones the advertisers most would want to reach.



    But why would I do that (or accept that as being kosher) when I can already just buy the stuff from iTunes without any ads at all?



    Oh, something else relevant; how do iTunes TV show subscriptions work? I've never done one nor looked up stuff about them directly.



    Do you buy it at the beginning of the season and then on the night of the broadcast the show downloads for your viewing, or does it have a time delay?



    Because if the former is the case, we basically already have what I suggested above, meaning I'm either not thinking this through enough or Apple isn't selling the Apple TV correctly.
  • Reply 7 of 87
    What is the point? We have the Apple TV already that works with any screen. Any features can be added to a similar device that works with any TV... massive sales potential that way. Making a TV itself is pointless.
  • Reply 8 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    This is where iAds could kick in. Web style targeting but on the livingroom TV would be attractive for advertisers. The option to pay more in exchange for less ads would be attractive for (some) consumers. In theory, at least. The people most likely to be willing to pay to have less ads are likely the very ones the advertisers most would want to reach.



    I believe it's delayed by a day.
  • Reply 9 of 87
    Content aside, Apple will have to contend with three major issues in its move to TV:



    1) Apple will have to start to deal with, and bring in the pipe providers, i.e., the cable companies: like the telcos, they're another business model that needs some disruption. But without them, many of its plans will be stillborn or choked off at the outset.



    2) Apple will have to go beyond 55" - up to 65", at least (say, 46", 55", and 65"). Apple may also have to consider 3D (the technology for which is getting to be surprisingly good on TVs).



    3) We are probably seeing the slow, but soon to be rapid, re-emergence of plasma (which was once given up for dead). Apple may have to consider that option as well.
  • Reply 10 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    What is the point? We have the Apple TV already that works with any screen. Any features can be added to a similar device that works with any TV... massive sales potential that way. Making a TV itself is pointless.



    It's a chicken/egg scenario.



    The networks aren't going to bow to Apple's demands for full and cheap access to the content unless Apple have a lot of leverage in the TV market... and it's hard for Apple to get a lot of leverage in the TV market without the networks giving Apple full and cheap access to the content.



    Look at something like the Xbox 360. The primary function most people purchased it for was a games console. It's not until now, after 60+ million of these Trojan horses have been shipping into people's living rooms that Microsoft was able to secure a deal with the networks to provide content.



    Apple need their own Trojan horse.



    The cheap Apple TV along with the lure of something like AirPlay is certainly one way. Perhaps another way is through a full HDTV.
  • Reply 11 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike54 View Post


    This one of the reasons I like Apple, I loath ads and will pay an appropriate price to not have them.



    Are you talking about paying more than $40 a month for content free of ads? Because right now we get about 18 minutes of ads for about that price. To get zero ads for first aired shows you can bet the price would be considerably more -- not counting introductory experimentation phases.



    You have to figure out some way to pay for these 1-8 million dollar per-episode TV shows. Considering that most people watch 2-3 per night or around 60 per month that's a lot of audience you have to maintain at $1 per episode not counting distributor profit.



    So if you watched 60 episodes at $2 each? $3 each? How much is it worth to get zero ads?



    And that doesn't take into account the history of 100-300% profit these media investors have become accustom to by creating artificial scarcity with time-released distribution channels.
  • Reply 12 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    This is where iAds could kick in.



    pretty much all consumers hate ads, especially on something they are paying for piecemeal.



    So unless the price is hella cheap like less than Hulu+ with say one ad at the top and nothing in the stream, folks will just keep getting their stuff ad free price free via torrents. After all, if you aren't one of the sacred 25k Nielsen peeps what you do isn't counted anyway
  • Reply 13 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    What is the point? We have the Apple TV already that works with any screen. Any features can be added to a similar device that works with any TV... massive sales potential that way. Making a TV itself is pointless.



    I wouldn't consider it pointless. Most ventures of this sort have a phase in period. For those not yet needing a TV set, or those who just don't want an Apple HDTV set, there would be the AppleTV set top box, and for those looking or needing a new TV, there is the Apple HDTV. It's just my guess but sounds logical that this is the way Apple will approach the venture into the living room, a phase in.
  • Reply 14 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Oh, something else relevant; how do iTunes TV show subscriptions work? I've never done one nor looked up stuff about them directly.



    Do you buy it at the beginning of the season and then on the night of the broadcast the show downloads for your viewing, or does it have a time delay?



    I think you're talking about the season pass, which isn't exactly a subscription because you are downloading, not streaming. And you don't pay to keep up access.



    That said, you pay whenever and get whatever has been released and then at some point after the episode has aired (generally midnight US Pacific of that night), you are able to download the new episode.
  • Reply 15 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


    What is the point? We have the Apple TV already that works with any screen. Any features can be added to a similar device that works with any TV... massive sales potential that way. Making a TV itself is pointless.



    The current appleTV set top box remains mostly under the radar of public attention. A full-fledged TV set with the Apple brand on it would gain much more visibility. If Apple goes for the aggressive pricing strategy they adopted with iPad and the new MacBook Air, it could be a major hit and a living-room revolution.
  • Reply 16 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pixelstuff View Post


    Are you talking about paying more than $40 a month for content free of ads? Because right now we get about 18 minutes of ads for about that price. To get zero ads for first aired shows you can bet the price would be considerably more -- not counting introductory experimentation phases.



    It pretty much has to work like this.



    Apple's social graph is crap and they generally suck at creating an advertising platform. I can't imagine Apple could be promising the "holy grail" of targeted advertising to the networks.



    Unless Apple can slip a Trojan horse into people's living rooms to give them leverage they have to organise a pay-as-you-go deal with the networks.



    On the other hand if Facebook decided to release a HDTV...
  • Reply 17 of 87
    then i have to be quietly crapping myself at the prospect of what apple could do to my business.. no way they'll by into this, expect apple to go direct to content creators if they want to push forward with this .
  • Reply 18 of 87
    By the end of the article we're left in exactly the same place as before. I think we all know Apple would have been in "talks" and that streaming content stored in iCloud was going to be part of any plan.



    I don't agree with the lack of ads. Sure, it sounds great but I can see no model that makes it practical for television. I'll spend $1 to own a 4 minute song, I'll even spend $10 to go see a movie in a theater, but I won't spend $1 per episode of each TV show I watch because that is more than I pay now per month. That's also half the price Apple currently charging for renting a TV show at the moment.



    Things previously mentioned on this topic, but outside this thread:
    1. Siri as an option to access content quickly.

    2. Direct TV Whole Home DVR is even local to the LAN and feel too slow to respond.

    3. The speed of accessing an internet-based system.

    4. Why any of this requires Apple to make a few TVs instead of just making a device that can content to any display with an HDMI connection.

    PS: One thing that is in need of being revamped are consumer routers. Apple has some of the best but with so many devices being connected these days they are getting bogged. I hope that early 2012 sees a major update to their AirPort line, perhaps with an iOS-based system.
  • Reply 19 of 87
    Nothing new here TBH. BTW, few people could afford them not unless you sell one of your relatives or commit yourself to a back alley lifestyle. Case in point, how much are Apple monitors and what size they are? Compare that to say, Samsung or LG smart TVs. We all know Apple won't skimmed on specs. or 'whoa!' features. That would drive prices high. Plus, how small they can be to make it affordable and how large they would contain so to avoid from being criticised for being too expensive (comparatively to competitors) or too small (for the Americans)?
  • Reply 20 of 87
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jsmythe00 View Post


    I think the point is in replacing your cable box. If could get the 10 or so channels I watch a la carte via apple then he product(appletv) is worh considering. I'm annoyed that I pay 50+ dollars for a couple channels and DVR support



    If people flock to such a concept the way they have to other Apple products you'll 1) be paying a lot less to your cable company for content they bought in bulk based on expected viewership, and 2) you'll be using more of their internet services.



    This means to make up the massive losses they'll have to raise the price per cable TV charge for those still buying such services (but that would force even more to leave) and/or raise the prices on cable, add hard caps, soft caps with additional payments, and/or throttle your speed which could make Apple's service unfriendly as a result.
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