Apple luring TV content owners for streaming service with promise of more open data sharing - report

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 2015
Apple has reportedly offered to partially open its customer data trove to content owners if they sign on to its new web television initiative, marking a stark turn for the company that has traditionally balked at sharing information with partners.




Content owners will be able to receive data on "who [Apple's] viewers are, what they watch and when they watch it," according to the New York Post. Apple is also said to have left it up to the networks to decide if and when they would like to run commercials.

"They're allowing a lot more decision-making by the content owner," a source told the publication, adding that Apple has said "it's up to you, whatever you guys want to do" during partnership discussions.

If true, it would be a remarkable about-face for Apple, which is famously controlling and protective of its relationship with its customers. App Store developers routinely complain about their lack of access to similar customer data, for example.

Earlier reports suggested that Apple was targeting a price between $30 and $40 per month for the service, though the Post places that figure at around $20 per month. Content owners would receive rates similar to those paid by traditional cable providers.

While Apple is said to be working on deals with Disney, CBS, Fox, and Discovery, channels from NBCUniversal will not be included. Apple reportedly felt "left hanging" by NBCUniversal parent Comcast's attempted acquisition of Time Warner, with which the iPhone maker was collaborating on a similar project.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    irelandireland Posts: 17,783member
    [QUOTE]It's up to you, whatever you guys want to do.[/QUOTE]

    More inaccurate reporting from the NYP. Haven't they been accused of making things up about Apple in recent history?
  • Reply 2 of 65

    There's absolutely wrong with sharing aggregate viewership data. It provides valuable feedback to content creators and providers, leading to provision of more types of content that people like and less that people don't.

     

    That said, I wonder how Apple will navigate 'public service' requirements such as C-SPAN and PBS-type channels.

  • Reply 3 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    How does this square with Cook's privacy stance?

  • Reply 4 of 65
    mj webmj web Posts: 918member
    Step in right direction but I want Steve Jobs' vision; a universe of television where channels are served in the order of content most interesting to the viewer based on genre specific preference profiles and their viewing histories.
  • Reply 5 of 65
    I am very interested to see how Apple deploys this. We all need to pay less for more in this space.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,795member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post



    Step in right direction but I want Steve Jobs' vision; a universe of television where channels are served in the order of content most interesting to the viewer based on genre specific preference profiles and their viewing histories.



    You mean like TiVo circa 1999-2000?

  • Reply 7 of 65
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    Don't really understand why they want to get into the content package service. Where do you draw the line on what markets you want to get into and which markets to stay out of? It would be cool enough if there was a store where any broadcast service could allow people to buy and add the service to their AppleTV (and phone and other devices). A la carte. Then it would seem Apple would not have to negotiate broadcast rights. Just leave it up to the provider (NBC, ABC, Discovery). Oh well.

     

    There's also the issue covered here: data on consumers. That's got to be worth some money. There's a lot of value in Apple customers. Suppose they would seriously limit what could be shared. It sounds like a big hassle.

     

    Whatever the case, any competition is good and Comcast and others need competition.

  • Reply 8 of 65
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,981member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post



    Step in right direction but I want Steve Jobs' vision; a universe of television where channels are served in the order of content most interesting to the viewer based on genre specific preference profiles and their viewing histories.

     

    You must be a single person living alone. Two or more people living in the same household makes all that pretty uch impossible unless everybody has their own log in. Which is a pain itself. Then, what about when two or three people want to watch a show together? They just need to make finding what I want to watch easy and make it easy to see what is on the stations I subscribe to at any given time. Two different requirements for two different scenarios.

  • Reply 9 of 65
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    pfisher wrote: »
    Don't really understand why they want to get into the content package service. Where do you draw the line on what markets you want to get into and which markets to stay out of? It would be cool enough if there was a store where any broadcast service could allow people to buy and add the service to their AppleTV (and phone and other devices). A la carte. Then it would seem Apple would not have to negotiate broadcast rights. Just leave it up to the provider (NBC, ABC, Discovery). Oh well.

    There's also the issue covered here: data on consumers. That's got to be worth some money. There's a lot of value in Apple customers. Suppose they would seriously limit what could be shared. It sounds like a big hassle.

    Whatever the case, any competition is good and Comcast and others need competition.

    Seriously limiting data is why content owners wouldn't play ball in the first place. If true, then 'more open data sharing' sounds like Apple blinked
  • Reply 10 of 65
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,379member
    There's absolutely wrong with sharing aggregate viewership data. It provides valuable feedback to content creators and providers, leading to provision of more types of content that people like and less that people don't.

    From the source article:
    "By dangling the “data carrot,” Apple is offering something that traditional cable companies, Amazon and Netflix have refused to hand over to programmers."
  • Reply 11 of 65
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Seriously limiting data is why content owners wouldn't play ball in the first place. If true, then 'more open data sharing' sounds like Apple blinked

    Yeah it does, but Apple has blinked before with the Apple TV. Remember how they demoed it under the codename iTV in the Autumn of 2006 almost 9 years ago)? They had only the MGM/Disney umbrella on board then. I think that odd demo before even getting an official name was to solicit content providers more than show us the device. It didn't work. It was before content owners embraced the Internet, but it surely also a fear of Apple controlling to much like with iTMS. I think they had to bend over in order to get content owners on board.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

     

    How does this square with Cook's privacy stance?




    I agree. It seems rather a shocking thought considering that he took the time to publicly emphasize that policy just last week.

  • Reply 13 of 65
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

     

    How does this square with Cook's privacy stance?




    Aggregated and anonymized and it's right in line with Cook's position on privacy.

  • Reply 14 of 65
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,379member
    jfc1138 wrote: »

    Aggregated and anonymized and it's right in line with Cook's position on privacy.
    So far it's only rumor so obviously what they're willing to share isn't really known yet. It could be no data at all like most everyone else, supposedly "anonymised/aggregated" stuff only, or more specific data tied to a particular household or user. Really should wait and see before declaring what data is shared, if any, and how.
  • Reply 15 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    [quote]Originally Posted by jfc1138
    Aggregated and anonymized and it's right in line with Cook's position on privacy.[/quote]

    When did Cook say that?
  • Reply 16 of 65
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,705member
    I am very interested to see how Apple deploys this. We all need to pay less for more in this space.

    Nothing about cutting the chord will lead to lower prices to the end consumer for content. Of that I am pretty certain. If al a cart program selection is implemented then perhaps, for some, but on the whole I can't see it. Personally I'd rather have more granular content control and no adverts in drama and documentary genres than lower prices. Apple giving up customers' viewing habits shows that this is a 'land grab' situation.

    More interesting is why. Apple probably isn't looking to make significant earnings on content and the ?TV is now a very low price item. The battle for hearts and minds in the home?
  • Reply 17 of 65
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    With all the content on iTunes Apple could make a $60 a month service with music, TV and Movies. maybe more.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,379member
    mac_128 wrote: »

    I agree. It seems rather a shocking thought considering that he took the time to publicly emphasize that policy just last week.
    The last time he did the rounds with his privacy talks last fall it was preceding some significant changes in Apple's iAd platform that might raise eyebrows about data and monetizing users. I personally think Cook in the past 2 weeks was attempting to get out in front of potential issues, like another reported iAd change involving user data last week along with this current one concerning TV, that might soon be public and perhaps not initially well received by some long-time Apple users.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

     



    Aggregated and anonymized and it's right in line with Cook's position on privacy.




    When did Cook say that?

     




    Cook's position on privacy was what you asked about. That presumes such a position exists. My opinion, based on my understanding of his position, is that aggregated and anonymized data would be consistent, in that form there's no "private" information conveyed. If you disagree, well, I'm okay with that. You want a direct quote from Cook, which would be different than your original post, then go ask him.  As noted by another poster: details will matter.  At the worse end, selling our email addresses and iTunes accountts to the content providers along with the shows we watch individually to open us up for targeted spam. Now THAT would run right up against Cook's stated position on privacy.

     

    Aggregation is the equivalent of what happens with traffic aggregators for the display of traffic conditions on Apple Maps etc. right now: no individual identities are transmitted. As someone else mentioned: TiVo has been doing something similar since around 2000.

  • Reply 20 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post





    Nothing about cutting the chord will lead to lower prices to the end consumer for content. Of that I am pretty certain. If al a cart program selection is implemented then perhaps, for some, but on the whole I can't see it. Personally I'd rather have more granular content control and no adverts in drama and documentary genres than lower prices. Apple giving up customers' viewing habits shows that this is a 'land grab' situation.



    More interesting is why. Apple probably isn't looking to make significant earnings on content and the ?TV is now a very low price item. The battle for hearts and minds in the home?



    You may be right.  I have DirecTV and currently pay $120 per month (5 TV's).  My wife and I watch maybe 7 channels at most and the kids watch Netflix more than anything.  It is interesting as they do not care about current programming...So for most your assessment is spot on but I am thinking I can find a more economical option???  I hope so.

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