Like Apple, Amazon abandons 'skinny' TV bundle plans following network resistance

Posted:
in General Discussion
For now, Amazon has allegedly jettisoned plans to offer a "skinny" bundle of cable and broadcast TV channels, owing to low expected profit margins and the same problem rumored to have halted Apple's bundle: resistance from networks.




In talks, both sides butted heads over network demands that Amazon include "weaker" channels in any bundle, Reuters sources said. That practice is common in negotiations with cable and satellite providers, but Amazon is said to have been unwilling to budge, insistent that it be able to sell a smaller selection of channels at a low price.

Apple's own efforts collapsed in 2015 for the same reasons. The company was reportedly hoping to offer about a dozen channels for less than $30 per month, comparable to services like Sling TV or Philo.

Amazon was also asking for terms alien to the entertainment business, such as discounts based on the number of subscribers it brings in.

The company is willing to wait out the networks, sources said. It's expecting traditional cable and satellite subscriptions to decline over time and push more content online, hopefully to be picked up by Amazon Channels. At the moment Channels offers subscriptions to individual networks like HBO and Showtime, but with the convenience of watching from a single app.

Apple is meanwhile pushing ahead with a slate of original high-budget TV shows, such as morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and a remake of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories." The content could premiere in 2019, available to anyone with an Apple device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    I just want the Amazon Video app on my Apple TV. Or, maybe I'll buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick. A friend of mine got one. I like the lyrics display and full-screen album art that my Apple TV lacks.
    sanshodaranantksundarampalomine
  • Reply 2 of 30
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,808member
    Not perfect but SLING has done best it can to offer TV viewers dream to have "al-a-carte" package and watch "when,where,how". Wish Amazon was successful in offering skinny bundle than others could join to make it better.
    edited November 2017 Soli
  • Reply 3 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,709member
    zroger73 said:
    I just want the Amazon Video app on my Apple TV. Or, maybe I'll buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick. A friend of mine got one. I like the lyrics display and full-screen album art that my Apple TV lacks.
    I bought the Fire Stick last year on whatever Amazon does for Prime Day (?) for $25. I use it for Amazon video only. It’s slow but works. When/If Amazon releases an ATV app I won’t need it anymore.
    watto_cobracali
  • Reply 4 of 30
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,429member
    I cut the cord two months ago (Comcast/XFinity).  Best decision I've ever made.  I was paying $130/mo and was watching TV maybe once or twice a month.  Should have done it years ago.  The only real surprise was that Comcast's customer support did not fight me at all or try some sleezeball way to keep my business.  They were like "Okay, your subscription is canceled. Thank you! <*click*>".  It was almost pleasant.

    between iTunes, Netflix, HBO I'm covered.  BuhBye Comcast. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 30
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,760member
    wood1208 said:
    Not perfect but SLING has done best it can to offer TV viewers dream to have "al-a-carte" package and watch "when,where,how". Wish Amazon was successful in offering skinny bundle than others could join to make it better.
    SlingTV isn't truly a-la-carté. It still makes you choose a package of channels. Sure, its a cheaper package of channels, but I still have to get A, B, and C channels that I don't care about in order to get channel D. If it were true a-la-carté then I should be able to download the HGTV app on my AppleTV and just subscribe to the individual channel for however long I want. If I also want FOX, I can download a FOX app and subscribe to it. Then say next month I don't want HGTV anymore, I can cancel the subscription and the app becomes unusable for live TV until I resubscribe. 

    I also don't like SlingTV now because they stopped supporting the Mac and make you use Chrome in order to watch on your Mac which is what I do more often than watching on the actual TV. 

    Someday cable companies will realize their business model no longer works...I think its already doing this as more and more people are canceling their cable tv service and just using Netflix, Amazon, etc. 
    pscooter63airnerd
  • Reply 6 of 30
    I am surprised by this, because it appears Philo is taking off in a big way.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    wood1208 said:
    Not perfect but SLING has done best it can to offer TV viewers dream to have "al-a-carte" package and watch "when,where,how". Wish Amazon was successful in offering skinny bundle than others could join to make it better.
    Sling is pretty good and in some ways better than expected, although they've been removing the DVR functionality from different portals/apps, and have completely done away their Mac app.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    "Apple's own efforts collapsed in 2015 for the same reasons."

    No, "It's rumored Apple's own efforts collapsed in 2015 for the same reasons." We don't even know if there were efforts, let alone why they didn't come to pass. There are only rumors. 

    Solipscooter63cali
  • Reply 9 of 30
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,244member
    sflocal said:
    I cut the cord two months ago (Comcast/XFinity).  Best decision I've ever made.  I was paying $130/mo and was watching TV maybe once or twice a month.  Should have done it years ago.  The only real surprise was that Comcast's customer support did not fight me at all or try some sleezeball way to keep my business.  They were like "Okay, your subscription is canceled. Thank you! <*click*>".  It was almost pleasant.

    between iTunes, Netflix, HBO I'm covered.  BuhBye Comcast. 
    I did this, had actually about the same experience. I walked the cable box to their service center (only a few blocks for me) and handed it to the guy. Asked for a cancellation of the TV subscription, and for a receipt. He got my message quickly, asked a proforma question that I replied to with: "I don't watch cable TV anymore." Done.

    I did keep their cable modem service. For $50/mo, it is stable and reasonably fast. I would try the centurylink service that is now available, but it requires new equipment I'd have to buy, and I'm not displeased with comcast's internet service. One quirk: comcast has a yearly contract to get that price; otherwise they always try to jack it up like $15/mo. As long as I get the reliable and speedy service, I'm ok with a year commitment at $50.

    I'd sort of like to try the centurylink deal for 30 days. I'd pay maybe $50 for that trial. But no, you gotta get into bed with them...etc etc.

    And I put up a Mohu leaf on the upstairs window. About 10 HDTV channels, and I don't watch that a lot. Local sports, news. Turns out my library has a lot of CDs for free checkout if I want to watch something. And the library even has digital downloads. Maybe not Netflix quality catalog, but free is a good price. 

    Commercial: the Seattle Public Library web site and app is *great*. 
  • Reply 10 of 30
    sanssans Posts: 38member
    lkrupp said:
    zroger73 said:
    I just want the Amazon Video app on my Apple TV. Or, maybe I'll buy an Amazon Fire TV Stick. A friend of mine got one. I like the lyrics display and full-screen album art that my Apple TV lacks.
    I bought the Fire Stick last year on whatever Amazon does for Prime Day (?) for $25. I use it for Amazon video only. It’s slow but works. When/If Amazon releases an ATV app I won’t need it anymore.
    Right now, we switch over to the Xbox One to watch Amazon Video. It would be nice when if they release an app for Apple TV, that way i can keep the XBox One as a pure gaming console. Just as god intended. 
  • Reply 11 of 30
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,453member

    Only in TV world are you forces to pay for something you do not want, or force to watch commercial which you have not interest in their product. In most cases you have to pay and watch content which is not that great.


    I remember having this discussion over 25 yrs ago when I live in Calif and the cable company had two cables coming into your house, Usually they would make you rent a box to have a remote to allow you to switch between cable A and B. My TV at the time had to antenna inputs so I could easily switch between cables. Not shortly after the install did I figure out the B cable was all the foreign language channels which I had no interest in watching. I called up the cable company and ask they disable the B cable and cut my bill in half. Needless to say, I was told no, and it was one price and you get it all since they claim there was no way to turn on one cable, I told them to come out and cut if they like. I was way ahead of you folks on trying to tune down my cable bill which was $20 at the time.



    StrangeDaysSpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 30
    hodarhodar Posts: 258member

    Seriously, Amazon?  The iPhone 8 and iPhone X are out.  But, the promised port of Amazon Prime Video, which has been out for iPhone and iPad for years - STILL hasn't been made available for the AppleTV?  This was promised SOON back in August, and now we are closing on December - this simple port from iPad to AppleTV shouldn't take your seasoned programmers all that long.

    All you need to do, is just let us watch the programs we paid for, on our AppleTV's.  You know, just like your Roku, SLING, Android, PS4, XBOne and FireStick customers have been doing for years.  It's not like we are demanding much - just that you actually do what you promised.

    StrangeDayscali
  • Reply 13 of 30
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Is this Eddie Cue’s fault too?

    Guess these networks are as stubborn as some thought.

    I wonder where Apple is going with their original content?
    Let’s hope Apple makes the TV app more simple and fun to use also. 
  • Reply 14 of 30
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    hodar said:

    Seriously, Amazon?  The iPhone 8 and iPhone X are out.  But, the promised port of Amazon Prime Video, which has been out for iPhone and iPad for years - STILL hasn't been made available for the AppleTV?  This was promised SOON back in August, and now we are closing on December - this simple port from iPad to AppleTV shouldn't take your seasoned programmers all that long.

    All you need to do, is just let us watch the programs we paid for, on our AppleTV's.  You know, just like your Roku, SLING, Android, PS4, XBOne and FireStick customers have been doing for years.  It's not like we are demanding much - just that you actually do what you promised.

    I believe they said later this year or by the end of the year, which is much better than “soon” since soon is a relative term that offers no parameters, yet the other terms indicate that 01-JAN-2018 is past that date. If their self-imposed deadline is the end of the year then give them until the end of the year.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    I've been thinking a out discontinuing my cable service in part because I have been away for several months taking care of some end-of-life issues with a family member so I haven't been watching much TV, let alone cable TV programs. I don't find that I miss it too much but recently I found the Pluto TV app and it's 100+ plus channels for free. I'm evaluating it for use as a replacement for cable. So far so good. It runs on desktops, iOS, Apple TV, and Android. Not all the content is good and the ads that run on it are repetitive but otherwise it's a fair replacement for cable. With a good antenna and maybe Hulu I'd be set!

  • Reply 16 of 30
    I use Amazon Video on my IPad.  It work pretty well even using LTE.

    The best deal for movies is switching each month between Showtime, Cinemax, HBO each month, which will cost you about $10.

    The reason this is the best deal, is these guys pay through the nose for the newly released blockbusters (to attract new customers) rather than give you a bunch of old garbage like Netflix.

    P.S. Sprint LTE garbage 
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Going on 7 years since I cut the chord.  Between netflix, HBOgo via AT&T, and PS Vue I'm set.  Vue is 1/3 what I was paying for DirecTV but I can still get more sports than I could watch plus the ability to DVR.  
  • Reply 18 of 30
    I am surprised by this, because it appears Philo is taking off in a big way.
    Does Philo offer local channels?
  • Reply 19 of 30
    cali said:
    Is this Eddie Cue’s fault too?

    Guess these networks are as stubborn as some thought.

    I wonder where Apple is going with their original content?
    Let’s hope Apple makes the TV app more simple and fun to use also. 
    I'm really curious to see what kind of new original content Apple releases. I think they are in for some pretty stiff competition, especially seeing that Amazon announced it acquired the rights to the Lord of the Rings TV series. Disney is making a Star Wars TV series for their new streaming platform. 
    cali
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Not surprised at all. The worst cable channels wouldn't even exist if they weren't bundled with more popular siblings. Cable companies have no choice but to carry the entire bundle.
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