Apple's Jimmy Iovine played key role in securing HBO Now deal

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 2015
When HBO CEO Richard Plepler chose to speed up the rollout of the company's new standalone streaming service and went looking for a launch partner, one of his first phone calls was to entertainment industry legend turned Apple executive Jimmy Iovine.




Plepler previously worked for Iovine at Warner Music, and reached out last June after Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes suggested that the debut of HBO Now --?then slated for release in 2016 --?be accelerated, according to Fast Company. Iovine's response was characteristically enthusiastic: "I think that's the shit," he reportedly said when asked if Apple would be interested in a tie-up.

Iovine was not the only connection between the Beats and HBO deals. Time Warner board member Paul Wachter, whose Main Street Advisors participated in in the Beats acquisition, put Plepler together with Apple software and services chief Eddy Cue.

After meeting with Plepler in New York, Cue said he was ready to sign "the next day." The deal was completed before October, but the new launch date caused friction between HBO leadership and the company's in-house technical team, which had been working on a streaming solution since 2011.

Plepler shelved that initiative in November, choosing to partner with MLB Advanced Media instead. MLBAM is known to have some of the best streaming video technology in the world, and already works with Apple to deliver MLB.TV and WWE content to the Apple TV and iOS devices.

"Opening day is opening day," MLBAM CTO Joe Inzerillo said, discussing the group's view of hard deadlines. "The commissioner's not moving opening day if the bats aren't ready. So we're very used to working backward from a hard date."

The Apple - HBO combination is said to have spurred a number of cable companies and content owners into action, possibly leading to renewed interest in Apple's own streaming bundle. To get that project going, Apple is thought to have offered to share some viewing data with partners.

"We think the TV needs to be reinvented," Cue said, with HBO distribution executive Shelley Brindle adding that "Apple scares the industry."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    The industry should be scared of Apple!
  • Reply 2 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    "We think the TV needs to be reinvented," Cue said

    Hey Eddy you could start with the current ?TV interface which is crap. Do we have to wait for Nirvana to get a better user experience?
  • Reply 3 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,752member
    rogifan wrote: »
    "We think the TV needs to be reinvented," Cue said

    Hey Eddy you could start with the current ?TV interface which is crap. Do we have to wait for Nirvana to get a better user experience?

    Have there been a lot of fan-made UI improvements for AppleTV out there? What would you consider as improvements?
  • Reply 4 of 18
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,028member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    "We think the TV needs to be reinvented," Cue said



    Hey Eddy you could start with the current ?TV interface which is crap. Do we have to wait for Nirvana to get a better user experience?

     

    Wow, what an original idea. I'm sure no one at Apple has even CONSIDERED a redesign. I mean, there's no possible way they could be doing so in concert with new hardware to be released. You should really email them with this incredible revelation. 

     

    You know what would have been an interesting post? If you came up with some mockups, or outlined your ideas of a redesign, instead of this usual "LOL SO FUGLY NEEDS REDESIGN" anti-intellectual drivel. 

  • Reply 5 of 18
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,957member
    sog35 wrote: »
    how many AppleTV channels do you use?  I only use about 10 of them and hide everything else.  

    learn to hide channels.

    Why not have a channel store and let the user which ones they want? They're still on the device, and take up resources when hidden.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    That's good !
    +1
  • Reply 7 of 18
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,195member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    "We think the TV needs to be reinvented," Cue said



    Hey Eddy you could start with the current ?TV interface which is crap. Do we have to wait for Nirvana to get a better user experience?



    You're that bratty kid that whines for a lollipop at the doctor's office aren't you?

  • Reply 8 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    Did Iovine help Dish get HBO also?




    From my understanding that's not the same thing. The Dish offering is more like a normal Cable package but online. They're not selling a subscription to stand alone HBO without an existing package

  • Reply 9 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Have there been a lot of fan-made UI improvements for AppleTV out there? What would you consider as improvements?

    I'd love some sort of universal search that would search for content across channels/apps. I'd love a main screen that wasn't just a screen full of channel/app icons. Maybe a "home" screen that would alert me to new content, popular content or show me content based on my viewing habits? I'd love a new remote or better way to search than using tiny arrow keys to punch in letters. And I'd love it if you only had to enter your cable/satellite credentials once rather than entering it for every channel/app that requires it. I still think we're a ways out from being able to cut the cord. These are just a few things off the top of my head.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    how many AppleTV channels do you use?  I only use about 10 of them and hide everything else.  

    learn to hide channels.

    Yeah because that's such a great user experience. Why not have a channel/App Store where I can download what I want? Why give me everything and make me hide what I don't want? Better yet, just give me better search options and I'll ingore the rows and rows of channels/apps.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sflocal wrote: »

    You're that bratty kid that whines for a lollipop at the doctor's office aren't you?

    I don't think I'm the only one who feels the Apple TV UI is due for a redesign.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,815member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post





    Why not have a channel store and let the user which ones they want? They're still on the device, and take up resources when hidden.

    Ya, it's annoying have to disable all these channels that are completely worthless to me because you need a cable subscription and I cut the cord.  In fact a large percentage of people with a media streaming device have CUT THE CORD!!!    I've been saying Apple has needed a store for the last couple years.  Let people install what they want. 95% of it I don't want.  Yet the one thing I do what, PLEX is not there, and the only way to have it is using either Airplay and a iPhone or iPad, or a HACK.  Instead I just use my ROKU box.

  • Reply 13 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    And you'll still have the people who claim "Apple paid 3B for headphones".
    sog35 wrote: »
    Rogifan got owned.  OUCH.

    She's one of them.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 225member
    sog35 wrote: »
    takes like 5 seconds to hide a channel.

    Exactly. And it's a one-time requirement. Ooh it must have cost 30 secs ocer the past two years hiding channels I don't need/want. Big effing deal. Plus I wouldn't see the new channels added if I had to go looking for them.

    I agree a next gen AppleTV should have an app store (for games etc.) but I don't think they should change the way the "channels" work.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 709member
    This is great news...the first hole in the dam of the providers. May the dam break wide open....good job HBO-APPL.

    Let us cut the cable and kill televison the way we know it.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Hey Eddy you could start with the current ?TV interface which is crap. Do we have to wait for Nirvana to get a better user experience?

     

    Haven't you heard? Nirvana is no more. You'll have to do with The Foo Fighters.

  • Reply 17 of 18
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    "the company's in-house technical team, which had been working on a streaming solution since 2011."

    Since 2011??? Geez.
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