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Businesses Television Apple

Report: Apple To Suspend Effort To Develop Live TV Service (bloomberg.com) 71

schwit1 sends word that Apple has reportedly suspended plans to offer a live internet-based television service and will focus on being a platform for media companies to sell directly to customers through its App Store instead. Bloomberg reports: "Apple Inc. has suspended plans to offer a live Internet-based television service and is instead focusing on being a platform for media companies to sell directly to customers through its App Store, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. While Apple isn't giving up entirely on releasing a live-TV service, its plan to sell a package of 14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month has run into resistance from media companies that want more money for their programming, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing a prospective product."
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Report: Apple To Suspend Effort To Develop Live TV Service

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  • Canceled TV service (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @08:44AM (#51094185)

    I recently canceled my service because I was paying too much for cable ... and now you're telling me that APPLE doesn't want to charge enough?

    Shrug, congratulations media companies, you just lost to Netflix ... AGAIN.

    What the fuck will it take to get through your thick ass skulls that we are not going to continue paying for your shitty commercial laden bullcrap. From this point on, I will pay for service or I will watch 1 or 2 commercials per hour, and not if they are mixed into the middle of the show. And I'm not going to pay you some ridiculous sum of money for it. Probably less than a dollar per 'channel', no way in hell I'm giving you more than a dime a month per show I watch, you simply aren't worth it.

    So go ahead, try to sell people your spammy wares with little to no content at ridiculous prices. The sooner you die and stop bribing and manipulating to get your way, the sooner we can move on.

    • Shrug, congratulations media companies, you just lost to Netflix ... AGAIN.

      What the fuck will it take to get through your thick ass skulls that we are not going to continue paying for your shitty commercial laden bullcrap.

      Bingo.

      They really seem to be out of touch with reality in terms of the market. Why in the world would the average person pay $40 a month for 14 channels? That's ridiculously overpriced by nearly any measure.

      • It depends on the content of the channels.

        If you're just measuring the dollars-to-channels figure, cable and satellite providers will always win, because they've shoehorned so many channels into the available spectrum that are 24/7 garbage that nobody watches. Who cares how many channels you have that you never watch?

        If you gave me 14 channels where I could pick what was on them a la carte, without the compression artifacting (color dithering) we get from cable and satellite, including live sporting events

        • If you gave me 14 channels where I could pick what was on them a la carte, without the compression artifacting (color dithering) we get from cable and satellite, including live sporting events, I'd drop Time Warner like a paper bag of dog shit and sign up today.

          We simply have differing values in regards to TV...I wouldn't pay $40 a month for 14 channels no matter which ones I got to pick.

          • Bear in mind that I'm not just talking about channels, I'm talking about discrete programming blocks on each channel. Example, on my 'channel 1' I want this show from CBS, next would be this show from NBC, and then after that, a show from Comedy Central. 'Channel 2' can be a different family member's, etc.

            If Apple could deliver that for $40/month, that would be a industry-busting service. Unfortunately, it will never happen, because it doesn't reward the content producers' love of shoveling drek onto the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Spot on! I've never understood how people have been paying hundreds of dollars a month for channels they don't use and 5 commercials per hour. It's absolutely rediculous.

    • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @09:21AM (#51094273) Journal

      Shrug, congratulations media companies, you just lost to Netflix ... AGAIN.

      This is probably why Apple isn't interested. They figure broadcast TV is losing popularity, especially with their current tech-aware customer base. They can afford to say "no" to this.

    • Why would I want to wait for a show to be dripped out a week at a time? I Greatly prefer having a whole season released at a time.

      • Exactly.

        The only reason I still have a cable TV subscription at all is for live sports. If ESPN went direct-to-Internet streaming without the cable company's paywall in the way, I'd tell Time Warner to go pound sand. I don't even care about "seeing the latest episode when it airs" because watching it via DVR is a monumentally better watching experience.

        Cable and Satellite companies need to stop living in the 1980s already. The smartest thing the distribution networks (cable, satellite, etc.) could do is

        • What you speak of when it comes to siding with the consumers and breaking bundling is great in theory, but this is an example of prisoners dilemma. Any one cable company knows they can't take on Disney/Turner/etc in forcing unbundling because Disney can just smile, drop ESPN, and watch the cable/satTV customers go racing to one of the satellite TV providers or back to cable, and leaving the cable/satTV company screwed. Disney is the worst of the bundlers because they have ESPN, so they force all the other s

    • They are saying it's about what they want to charge, but I don't believe it. They can't say what I think is going on because NDA. What is that? Apple wants some kind of exclusivity, and isn't budging. The TV guys, already having some apps of their own, and selling stuff to hulu and netflix, aren't really desperate to be on the platform the way Apple wanted, they are already there! So they told them to stuff it with any form of exclusive anything.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @08:58AM (#51094209)

    TV networks have no idea what to make of streaming technology. Some of them get the idea that they can use the Internet to extend their TV audience to people on the Internet, but are so divided on how to go about it no delivery model has emerged that is consistent enough to be usable by a make-it-simple company like Apple.

    Even the simplest case, over-the-air network recent episodes, is a rickety hash. Sometimes you can stream the latest several episodes of a given show. Sometimes you have to wait a week, and sometimes your favorite show is just not available for streaming at all. Sometimes you have to "verify your cable provider" for an over-the-air show! Streaming could have been the OTA networks' natural way of extending their working commercial-sponsored business model to the huge audience of people who are semi-regular TV watchers who occasionally miss an episode.

    Cable networks could capture the cord-cutter market by offering their content to existing subscription services. Some do, each with its own idiosyncratic interface, while most operate with the comforting assumption taht most people will pay a separate subscription fee for each cable channel they stream. And what about streaming by those who still subscribe to cable? You have to hope that the skimpy pulldown in the "Verify Your Provider" list will eventually include your own cable company.

    Small wonder that today's busy young people just shrug and get into the habit of torrenting everything. And once you have gotten used to that model and its more consistent interface, they won't be back.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl[ ]net ['d3.' in gap]> on Thursday December 10, 2015 @09:03AM (#51094229) Homepage

      TV companies have seen what happened to music companies and want to avoid the same fate. Streaming music platforms like Spotify are extremely popular, but they also pay next to nothing to creators and even the labels are not getting nearly as much as they wanted. So TV companies are just holding out and hoping that they can find some way to make people pay premium prices for their mostly worthless content.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So you're basically admitting that the music companies that you're slagging in the first sentence are still living off the remains of old music in the second sentence and that it's the artists who are the ones who are the losers here? I don't understand how you seem to understand the dynamics in play but still insist that that TV is doing it wrong. The time of investment is pretty much up and they're still raking in the cash and in the end those who actually produced the content are going to be the ones who

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You are missing the part where high prices create incentives for people to develop alternative models.

          Spotify wouldn't exist if content costs were reasonable.

          Netflix wouldn't exist if content costs were reasonable.

          Netflix has shown that reasonable content costs reduce pirating. Proof that people don't want to steal, they just want to pay what they think is a fair price.

          The tighter companies squeeze, the more "business insight" these people use in the short run to make money, will harm them in the long run.

      • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 10, 2015 @09:46AM (#51094357) Homepage Journal

        The problem is, the TV companies are just sitting around doing nothing with most of their old content, when they could be doing almost anything else with it and still coming out ahead. They could license it to amazon and/or netflix, for example, on a limited-time basis with yearly renewal. It's like printing money.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          You are right, but they don't see it that way. To them old content is still valuable, because they can still sell DVD box sets with huge profit margins. Their model seems to be sell a few box sets to hard core fans at very high prices, rather than selling the content at a reasonably low price to streaming sites.

          Fans really get screwed by this. A friend of mine is into Nash Bridges. They released seasons 1 to 6 on DVD individually, but then instead of releasing the final season as a stand alone box set they

          • Fans really get screwed by this. A friend of mine is into Nash Bridges. They released seasons 1 to 6 on DVD individually, but then instead of releasing the final season as a stand alone box set they released the complete series box set.

            Yeah, as I recall they fiddled with the South Park box numbering too. I have the first six of the original retail discs. But for anything they haven't released on disc yet, this is actually an opportunity! They can rent it and/or sell it to streaming customers for a year, then they can put it on Blu-Ray and sell it all over again to people who will pay again for higher quality.

      • What would be wrong with having viewers pay the regular price they are already used to, in the form of watching commercials? Any revenue a network can get by putting its ads in front of a viewer who missed the episode is found money.

      • Streaming music platforms like Spotify are extremely popular, but they also pay next to nothing to creators and even the labels are not getting nearly as much as they wanted.

        As best as I can tell, it's the other way around. The base royalty rate for purchased music is 9.1 cents per song [harryfox.com]. Spotify pays 0.6 to 0.84 cents per play [time.com]. In other words, if a Spotify user hears a song more than 11-15 times (irrespective of time period), the creators have gotten more royalties from Spotify than if the listener had

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        they also pay next to nothing to creators and even the labels are not getting nearly as much as they wanted

        The labels don't get what they want because they don't provide any real value. The labels were advertisers and distributors at a time when doing so required large amounts of capital resources. The internet has changed there is no good reason to pay that rent anymore. How much can BMG do for you that Patreon or Kickstarter can't? Even if they do still have more to offer now, the gap is shrinking not growing.

        At the same time small artists can also get all the recording equipment they need to compete with t

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @08:58AM (#51094211)

    "its plan to sell a package of 14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month has run into resistance from media companies that want more money for their programming" ...its plan to sell a package of 14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month has run into resistance from potential subscribers that want more programming for their money,

    Fixed that for ya.

    Sorry, but for $40 a month I'd sure as hell want more than 14 channels. Talk about being clueless in the marketplace. Hulu, Netfilx, etc all offer much more bang for the buck. Admittedly TV in general has less value to me than it does for a lot of people, but $40 a month for 14 channels just seems ridiculously overpriced to me.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      For me it depends upon whether I get to pick the 14 channels. I think I probably surf about 14 channels looking for something, anything worthy of my time. However, I doubt Apple can get the agreements to allow me to pick the 14 channels. If the 14 channels, maybe 5 have consistently something I'd care about, and most of time they do not. So what happens if that gets close to 0....Verizon can then stop counting my TV money.

      • For me it depends upon whether I get to pick the 14 channels.

        Not me, but that's just a reflection of what TV is (or isn't) worth to me personally. But I understand a lot of people would jump at that kind of deal and if they feel it's worth it, I'm fine with that.

    • Sorry, but for $40 a month I'd sure as hell want more than 14 channels.

      That depends heavily on the content of the 14 channels. I think most people don't really watch many more than that now. I know I do not. If there is good value in the 14 channels and I get to customize them to my particular tastes then it might be worth it. Your mileage may vary. If it is just the same swill I get from the cable companies now then I'm not interested.

      Right now I pay about $30ish/month for some basic cable channels and about $90/month for 100 megabit internet. Guess which one I care abo

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        You are what I'd call a legacy customer, who hasn't cut the TV cord yet. A lot of people are going to basic free channels and one or two streaming services instead of paying for channels or bundles now.

        On-demand services like Netflix mean that you are never stuck with 50 channels and nothing you want to watch, so suddenly you don't need 50 channels any more. You just need one or two on-demand services. Those services only charge ~$10/month so $30 for a bunch of channels isn't very attractive, especially whe

        • You are what I'd call a legacy customer, who hasn't cut the TV cord yet.

          Not actually true. I did cut the cord for about 3 years but there are a few things on cable I find worthwhile enough to pay for so I got a reasonable bundled deal with my internet. I wouldn't pay more than I do and I'd drop it in a heartbeat if they change the value proposition. I would be very happy to cut the cord again if I could find a service that fits my needs better.

          On-demand services like Netflix mean that you are never stuck with 50 channels and nothing you want to watch, so suddenly you don't need 50 channels any more.

          I've had a Netflix subscription twice in the not-too-distant past and I routinely couldn't find anything I was interested in watching

      • That depends heavily on the content of the 14 channels.

        Not to me. Even if I got to pick the channels, it's just not worth that much to me.

        • Not to me. Even if I got to pick the channels, it's just not worth that much to me.

          That's fine too. There is a range of what people want and what they are willing to pay and yours is probably different than mine. One of the guys I work with is a huge football fan so he's willing to pay quite a lot to get all the football related programming. Nothing wrong with that. Me? I could not care less about football so I it is worth nothing to me. What I have a problem with is the fact that the programming is bundled. So if I want the Food Network and SyFy but don't want ESPN, I shouldn't ha

          • There is a range of what people want and what they are willing to pay and yours is probably different than mine.

            Exactly. If someone feels that it's a fair deal for the money, who am I to say no?

            If they offered something like $10/month of 10 channels of my choice, that would appeal to me.

            I just place a lower value on TV than a lot of other people do, it doesn't mean they're "wrong", we simply have different price points in terms of what we think something is worth.

    • by N1AK ( 864906 )

      Sorry, but for $40 a month I'd sure as hell want more than 14 channels.

      Why? From my experience the more TV channels a country has the less decent TV there is and the harder it is to find. 14 Channels of decent quality material would be incredibly good value at $40.

      • Exactly.

        For decades, channels have been added, but quality content adds haven't kept up. The overall signal-to-noise ratio is very VERY low on your average cable TV system, where 'signal' = content you actually give a shit about.

        • Also the channels are changing from their original intent. Remember when the History Channel was really about history? Or Bravo wasn't the Real Housewives channel? There have been some positive changes like AMC's Mad Men but they are fewer.
      • Sorry, but for $40 a month I'd sure as hell want more than 14 channels.

        Why? From my experience the more TV channels a country has the less decent TV there is and the harder it is to find. 14 Channels of decent quality material would be incredibly good value at $40.

        For you perhaps, but not for me. No way, no how.

        Basically we just place different values on this. No way I'd pay $40/month for 14 channels (even if I got to pick them).

        • by N1AK ( 864906 )

          Basically we just place different values on this.

          Yes. Apparently you value quantity of channels over quality of channels and total amount of quality programming. I value availability of quality content over the number of channels is is split over. I think what's actually happening is you're fixated on the concept of getting 14 channels from the current selection, or similar, rather than getting 14 quality TV channels. Given that 14 channels is 2,352 hours of programming a week, even if only 3% of what was s

          • Apparently you value quantity of channels over quality of channels and total amount of quality programming.

            No, you have misinterpreted what I said, or perhaps your lack of attention caused you to miss this part of what I wrote:

            "No way I'd pay $40/month for 14 channels (even if I got to pick them)"

            It should be clear from that statement that I do not consider all channels to be equally valuable, and that I want to pick specific channels. And why would I want to pick the channels I got? Obviously because I have some preference as to what I would watch, and I am looking to maximize the content I consider to be of hi

    • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @12:06PM (#51095049) Journal

      You're making a huge assumption that those 14 channels are 1980's style cable channels, where you get no say in the programming. What if they added a tab to iTunes where you can drag and drop shows out of a pick list onto a "TV Guide" style grid of your 14 channels, including live sport events?

      That would sure as shit be worth $40/month for me, as long as the content I'm looking for is there.

      • You're making a huge assumption that those 14 channels are 1980's style cable channels, where you get no say in the programming.

        And you're making a huge assumption as what I think TV is worth. Even if I got to pick my 14 channels, I still wouldn't pay $40 a month for them.

        What if they added a tab to iTunes where you can drag and drop shows.......

        Even if they added a tab that said "Free Blowjobs On Demand", it still wouldn't be worth $40 a month to me. (I get all I need and want already.)

        That would sure as shit be worth $40/month for me, as long as the content I'm looking for is there.

        We simply place a different value on the worth of TV programming. If you think it's worth it, I say go for it.

  • This could simply be a negotiation step by Apple to get the price more in line with value.
  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @11:57AM (#51094999) Homepage

    I watch what I want when I want it, not what/when live feed tells me to.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      I watch what I want when I want it, not what/when live feed tells me to.

      Clearly you're not familiar with Apple, when you buy an Apple product, they tell you what to do and when.

  • Hollywood's insistence on bundled programming is nothing more than a subsidy for three quarters of the channels out there. Sure we have variety, but the quality of most programming out there is abysmal. If TV subscriptions went a la carte, we would see Hollywood's TV sector immediately shrink overnight. A lot of those BS programs that get bundled into packages wouldn't survive simply because there isn't any revenue for it.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Hollywood's insistence on bundled programming is nothing more than a subsidy for three quarters of the channels out there. Sure we have variety, but the quality of most programming out there is abysmal. If TV subscriptions went a la carte, we would see Hollywood's TV sector immediately shrink overnight. A lot of those BS programs that get bundled into packages wouldn't survive simply because there isn't any revenue for it.

      And a lot of good programming goes down the drain.

      Right now, a cable channel has two

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