Apple poised to unleash the same business model earthquake in television that it did in music?

“The proposed US$30 billion Comcast-NBC Universal deal has entered the labyrinthine process of winning Congressional approval from the antitrust gurus and the Federal Communications Commission. Small cable operators, which apparently still exist, fear that they will be driven out of business by the sprawling new company that would combine NBC’s programming with Comcast’s vast network of 24 million subscribers,” Andrea Belz writes for E-Commerce Times. “Those of us who remember the Frankenstein that was AOL Time Warner may shudder as we hear these words again: ‘It’s great to own content and distribution!'”

Belz writes, “Meanwhile, cable operators should be more concerned about recent rumors that Apple is seeking to distribute television content via subscriptions to its hyper-successful iTunes Store.”

“Suddenly, it seems that Apple would make a formidable de facto cable television network. The company is poised to unleash the same business model earthquake in television that it did in music,” Belz writes. “After all, Apple transformed the music industry by providing only distribution, not content, eliminating the record labels’ traditional role as publishers. Will Apple reinvent the role of television studios as well? What does this mean for the Comcast-NBC deal?”

Belz writes, “The Comcast-NBC deal is a vestige of the past. Look for the Apple iTunes Store to chew through every industry providing content of any kind.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. I read this earlier at MacSurfer. Interesting article. What remains to be seen is what Apple will do with the Apple TV. If and when Apples does come up with a solution, Netflex will be transformed like Nokia.

    Just my .02 cents.

  2. “iTunes really needs to be renamed. It’s been a long time since it’s only done music.”


    It doesn’t matter, iTunes is a brand, it’s a recognized name, most people don’t even consider the “tunes” part of it.. They just know iTunes as a store to buy and download digital media and apps. There is obviously no confusion as they’ve sold 2 billion apps from the iTunes “app” store..

    Much like Tower records stopped selling records years before they went out of business..

  3. Apple can start installing Miro on every desktop by default for about a year, and watch the colours fly-by… one studio at a time please..

    The blogging world would submit conjectures for a possible p2p à la Apple without Apple declaring anything should be enough to bring the network pin-heads back to earth…

  4. I’m not sure I see the conflict.

    If Apple offers a subscription service, Comcast will be in a position to offer higher and faster bandwidth to internet only customers and NBC can still sell content through iTunes, so it is not necessarily a win-loss in any direction.

    If Comcast wants to make money from selling content, then they will be in a position to lose market share to competing ISPs that will offer a bigger, less regulated pipe.

    And in the end, we all want a bigger pipe…..

  5. vision is foresight not aftersight. Apple has vision and visionaries at it’s helm. It’s taken the anal-ists about 2 years to understand that the iPhone is actually a pocket computer… by the time everyone figures out Apple’s next big boom it will already be preparing the next one amidst all the aftershocks that will vibrate.

  6. We have Comcast cable TV and for us it’s a total waste of money. Nothing on we want to watch. The DVR is the only thing which even makes TV possible in our schedule. Still, there’s so few new shows that are worth watching, and usually if we like a show the network pulls it after 7 or so episodes. Bah humbug. Give me a full fledged Apple TV where I pay just for what I watch!

  7. “Much like Tower records stopped selling records years before they went out of business..”

    Er, funnily enough I actually agree that they should NEVER change the name iTunes, but kinda fell on your face with this ‘example’…

    You just proved that Since Tower Records stubbornly kept its ‘out of date’ name, it, uh, went out of business. (You know filesharing put them out of business, right?)

    iTunes is a brand and iPod is a brand. Don’t touch them. Apple took away the ‘Music’ part to deal with this ‘niggle’ long ago.

  8. Your reasons are valid. but..

    Apple will be taking away the traditional marketing sales of NBC, if you’re not watching live tv, then you won’t see the commercials, which means not as many viewers, which means less money networks can charge for advertisements, which means Apple has slipped their thumb up the big industry’s ass again and taken a couple dollars out their pockets. and you know they don’t like that.

    Apple is only looking to distribute, they have no want to advertise on their model. Give a universal hub where to get all your media and they will purchase. all the entertainment industry hates Apple and iTunes because it is such a huge part of how they make money, they just gripe they have to give Apple a small cut for creating what they couldn’t.

  9. ‘Give me a full fledged Apple TV where I pay just for what I watch!”


    The one downside I see to this model is that people would be a lot less likely to find new shows if they weren’t available for free on the networks first. Meaning, people would likely only be searching for or paying for shows of which they are already familiar with, new shows could easily become lost in the abyss of the iTunes catalog..

  10. Finally someone gets it… this is a whole other market that Apple will conquer, out doing cable and satellite. Could never understand everyone wanting blue ray & DVR functionality on the Apple TV – those functions will be outdated very soon.

    Good point about renaming itunes (like the way they changed to Apple Inc.). How about iConnect?

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