Apple moving forward with streaming TV service even as content providers resist

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014


A new report describes Apple as "pushing ahead" with plans to release a streaming TV service by the end of the year in spite of resistance from major media conglomerates.



The New York Post spoke to sources familiar with Apple's plans to learn that the company has had trouble convincing content providers to come on board with a streaming TV service. Studios have refused to give in to Apple, which reportedly wants complete control over "all aspects" of the service, including pricing.



"We decide the price, we decide what content," one source described Apple's negotiating stance as being. "They want everything for nothing," another media executive said.



Apple Senior VP Eddy Cue, who has been described in the past as Apple's "dealmaker," is said to be leading the talks. Insiders said Apple has proposed offering "channels as apps for its devices," including the Apple TV set-top box. The report was, however, unclear on whether Apple is hoping to bundle content together into a subscription or offer it on an individual basis.



Though iTunes already offers movies and TV shows for rent or purchase, Apple is reportedly interested in streaming over the web. The company is expected to run up against competitors in the space, including the networks themselves, as many of them have launched their own apps in the App Store for that purpose.



Apple reportedly tried to drum up support for a subscription TV service in 2009, but it was unable to procure commitments from the industry. According to some executives, Apple's interest in splitting advertising revenue was one of the sticking points that derailed negotiations.



More recently, Apple is believed to have turned to cable operators in an effort to convince them to work with it. "They (Apple) want to create the interface, and they wanted to work with the cable guys to manage bandwidth across the TV and broadband pipeline," a source told the Post. According to the report, cable executives "pretty much shut the door" on Apple.



Apple has reportedly also had discussions with telecom companies, such as Verizon and AT&T. Last month, sources at Canadian telecoms Rogers and BCE said they have been approached by Apple about its TV initiatives and have even received prototype versions of its much-rumored connected television set.











Tipsters indicated, however, that Apple is prioritizing bringing a streaming TV service to market first before launching its own TV set. Apple is said to be aiming to launch the service before this Christmas. That would fit with reports that have claimed Apple is not due to release a TV before late 2012.



In the meantime, Apple is expected to unveil an update to its $99 Apple TV set-top box as early as next week. Channel inventory of the device has dried up in recent weeks, adding to mounting evidence that an update is imminent. Apple last refreshed the device in late 2010.





[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 66
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Apple might still be trying to set up such a service, but there is zero way they can act in spite of the media companies. Apple doesn't control copyright on the shows and therefore thy can't just do what they want.



    The New York Post has had more than a few articles like this. It's like thy are trying to out do Digitimes
  • Reply 2 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    More recently, Apple is believed to have turned to cable operators in an effort to convince them to work with it. "They (Apple) want to create the interface, and they wanted to work with the cable guys to manage bandwidth across the TV and broadband pipeline," a source told the Post. According to the report, cable executives "pretty much shut the door" on Apple.



    Since they first demoed the Apple TV in 2006 they have had nothing but difficulty. I'd say there success with iTunes Music Store was too overwhelming and complete that everyone is too afraid.



    I suppose one can look the iPhone, too, to see how Apple's success has changed the control focus but aren't the carriers making more money because of the dramatic change in the desire for data on smartphones?



    Either way, I'm glad to read that the Apple HDTV looks to be a "last resort" solution and I fully expect Apple to be able to get a foothold in the next year or two.



    PS: 1080p AppleTV 3.0 with App Store and SDK next week?
  • Reply 3 of 66
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    PS: 1080p AppleTV 3.0 with App Store and SDK next week?



    I'm not gonna hold my breath for all that, but? here's hoping.
  • Reply 4 of 66
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post


    I'm not gonna hold my breath for all that, but? here's hoping.



    Yeah the last two things can come later and are likely better suited for WWDC when they will likely demo iOS 6 and the new SDK.



    I do think that a 1080 Apple TV is certain which means that 1080p iTS content is then fairly likely.
  • Reply 5 of 66
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    I haven't subscribed to a cable service in 5 years.





    My movie watching in theater has dwindled to not even once a month. What exactly are these idiots doing? They're losing their customers and watching the ship sink right before their eyes.
  • Reply 6 of 66
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    the only way Apple is going to break these guys' stranglehold over content is ... buy an independent distribution net. like buy DISH, and even better, Echo Star's global satellites too. the key choke point is bandwidth. plus the $'s to back up the threat. get them by the balls.



    once Apple can threaten global cheap distribution of competing content, the medicos will finally cave in. pick them off one by one.



    Apple has the cash. for chrissake, pull the trigger.
  • Reply 7 of 66
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    The description of Apple's attitude in dealings with cable companies rings false.
  • Reply 8 of 66
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Let's face it...
  • Reply 9 of 66
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Resistance...
  • Reply 10 of 66
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Is...
  • Reply 11 of 66
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Futile!
  • Reply 12 of 66
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Now this sounds like Apple! Funny enough, this is the first report that actually gives me any hope that Apple may release a TV this year and not next. This is a typical Apple strategy ("we're moving forward, so you can come along or be left behind) and makes me think it very possible of coming true.
  • Reply 13 of 66
    dappledapple Posts: 44member
    If AppleTV is IPTV ready, is cable television set-top box ready, is wifi ready, and occupies a lot less space than most if not all existing cable boxes (etc., etc.) without any need to own MMI's related patents, then how can Google's additional rationale to purchase MMI for cable television set-top box patents and GoogleTV rollout be portrayed as a winning strategy?



    Just asking.
  • Reply 14 of 66
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post


    the only way Apple is going to break these guys' stranglehold over content is ... buy an independent distribution net. like buy DISH, and even better, Echo Star's global satellites too. the key choke point is bandwidth. plus the $'s to back up the threat. get them by the balls.



    once Apple can threaten global cheap distribution of competing content, the medicos will finally cave in. pick them off one by one.



    Apple has the cash. for chrissake, pull the trigger.



    It's really hard to see how Apple moves forward.



    Even if they bought an independent distributor, they may well need reapproval for licensing of any content distributed through that entity. This is much like the Netflix deal which makes Netflix less attractive because the content licensing does not automatically follow to the new ownership.



    I had thought Apple might create a small production company to fund indie filmmakers but this would just antagonize the major studios and probably wouldn't buy them much clout.



    My other thought was Apple convincing cable companies that they could build a better set-top box (and I am sure they could). But the cable companies are loath to give Apple control of the interface because they lose the ability to promote what they wish (are paid for) in their programming guides and such.



    I personally would like to see them tie up with PBS in the US - PBS needs the funding and they produce and distribute good content.



    The killer is live sports. That's the pitch the satellite carriers always make in claiming their superiority over cable. Since ESPN is owned by Disney, there is maybe a chance of a deal here.



    Apple has been working on this for quite some time with little to show. If they cannot get Disney on board, the rest will be even more difficult. Getting Disney would provide them with feature film, TV and sports programming. Maybe we see some movement here soon (Iger on Apple's board).
  • Reply 15 of 66
    ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Since they first demoed the Apple TV in 2006 they have had nothing but difficulty. I'd say there success with iTunes Music Store was too overwhelming and complete that everyone is too afraid.



    I suppose one can look the iPhone, too, to see how Apple's success has changed the control focus but aren't the carriers making more money because of the dramatic change in the desire for data on smartphones?



    Either way, I'm glad to read that the Apple HDTV looks to be a "last resort" solution and I fully expect Apple to be able to get a foothold in the next year or two.



    PS: 1080p AppleTV 3.0 with App Store and SDK next week?



    I really hope Apple can get at least just one movie provider even if it's the smaller indie type or production studios, because as they did with music, it'll put a kink in the armor of the big studios. They are afraid because they want to gorge profit and not break the monopoly, but Apple empowers the masses and if Apple could get one, market competition will dictate.
  • Reply 16 of 66
    I honestly don't see how Apple can do this if the content providers are against it. This is the reason why all other attempts failed. Apple is wealthy, but is it wealthy enough to bend all of the TV and movie industry. Apple will have to at least get one or two onboard and maybe the rest will follow, but that just seems like a longshot. It worked for Apple with the music industry, but it will be outstanding if Apple can do it again. I sincerely hope Apple can pull it off.
  • Reply 17 of 66
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by penchanted View Post


    It's really hard to see how Apple moves forward.



    True. Apple does not telegraph their next move, nor do they do what people might expect. Apple has it's own game plan and are moving their pieces into place better then any other company I've ever watched.



    Quote:

    Even if they bought an independent distributor, they may well need reapproval for licensing of any content distributed through that entity. This is much like the Netflix deal which makes Netflix less attractive because the content licensing does not automatically follow to the new ownership.



    I had thought Apple might create a small production company to fund indie filmmakers but this would just antagonize the major studios and probably wouldn't buy them much clout.



    My other thought was Apple convincing cable companies that they could build a better set-top box (and I am sure they could). But the cable companies are loath to give Apple control of the interface because they lose the ability to promote what they wish (are paid for) in their programming guides and such.



    All good ideas. It's amazing to me how difficult it is to read Apple's plans.



    Quote:

    I personally would like to see them tie up with PBS in the US - PBS needs the funding and they produce and distribute good content.



    Gosh, That would be a fantastic thing to do! PBS programming is so far ahead of most of the other stations, I'm always amazed that no one else tried to copy them.



    Quote:

    The killer is live sports. That's the pitch the satellite carriers always make in claiming their superiority over cable. Since ESPN is owned by Disney, there is maybe a chance of a deal here.



    Apple has been working on this for quite some time with little to show. If they cannot get Disney on board, the rest will be even more difficult. Getting Disney would provide them with feature film, TV and sports programming. Maybe we see some movement here soon (Iger on Apple's board).



    Maybe. While there may be little to show for their efforts, that doesn't mean they haven't accomplished a lot away from public view. Let's hope!
  • Reply 18 of 66
    ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    I was thinking sports too, was the key to the front door, as @penchanted suggest. If Apple could get MLB, NFL, ESPN, and world soccer, they wouldn't even need Hollywood. When Hollywood sees the massive sports profits, they'll come begging for a piece of the action. Apple has plenty of cash and IMO they should sponsor World Sports Events.
  • Reply 19 of 66
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post


    I honestly don't see how Apple can do this if the content providers are against it. This is the reason why all other attempts failed. Apple is wealthy, but is it wealthy enough to bend all of the TV and movie industry. Apple will have to at least get one or two onboard and maybe the rest will follow, but that just seems like a longshot. It worked for Apple with the music industry, but it will be outstanding if Apple can do it again. I sincerely hope Apple can pull it off.



    It's Apple's success in the music industry that has the studios so leery. They are convinced that as long as they can keep Apple and Google out of this arena, they will not lose so much control of the business as the music industry. To me, they are in even worse shape,: I always bought more music than I consumed TV or feature films. They have the added competition from gaming and they are over-valuing their content but they don't see it that way.



    Maybe Steve worked his magic on Disney's board before his death. That would be a big boost: feature films, TV and sports.
  • Reply 20 of 66
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    As always, Hollywood is holding back future technology and innovations due to their own greed and selfishness and short-term vision. Hollywood has never done anything to help consumers.
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