Will upcoming Apple Internet TV service be cord cutting’s tipping point?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is getting close to a web-only TV package that will offer roughly 25 channels and cost somewhere between $30 and $40 per month,” Dorothy Pomerantz writes for Forbes. “This isn’t the first time Apple had talked about offering some kind of TV service but with the momentum shifting to online viewing, it seems like there’s a good chance this could be the real thing. According to the Journal, Apple’s recent deal to offer a web-only version of HBO on its Apple TV box was ‘designed as a kind of appetizer for the main meal plans to be served later this year.'”

“The news is an exciting one for cord-cutters,” Pomerantz writes. “Dish Network is already offering Sling TV which, for $20 per month, gives viewers channels like ESPN HGTV and Cartoon Network. Sony is rolling out a web TV service that will be available via PlayStation consoles and networks like Nickelodeon, CBS and Showtime are rolling out web-only subscriptions services.”

“But there’s no question that the unbundled world is not going to come cheap. If we do see a major shift away from cable, those service providers are going to start charging a lot more for Internet service,” Pomerantz writes. “Navigating all of the new services to create the perfect package of stations might have the opposite effect of pushing viewers back into cable’s arms. A one-price for everything deal might actually start to look pretty attractive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If the prices weren’t already too high and the bundles weren’t so restrictive, so many wouldn’t have already cut or be looking to cut the cord. Hopefully, these new services will force cable/satellite to offer better packages at more attractive prices to, you know, actually compete for customers.

Related articles:
NBC plans Apple TV app that requires cable subscription later this year – March 17, 2015
Apple Internet TV service would awaken a sleeping Apple TV giant – March 17, 2015
The future of Apple TV – March 17, 2015
Apple in talks to unveil 25-channel online TV service in June, launch in fall – March 16, 2015

24 Comments

  1. Unbundling is the key point here. My cable/internet/phone bill is almost $200 per month. I do pay for some premium channels, but the problem is, in order to get what I want, I must take what I have no interest in. From what I’ve heard, over 40% of my monthly TV bill is for all the sports channels that I never watch. If any of the bundles Verizon has on offer existed with no sports (or news, for that matter), I’d take them (assuming the discount was commensurate). But that’s not how Verizon makes profit… Or Comcast; or Time Warner; or Optimum…

    1. I too could do without the sports and other unnecessary effluvia contaminating my cable service. Those who want sports should pay the extra premium and not put it on the shared shoulders of disinterested parties. I’m sure I could get it down to about 20 channels. But the ala carte pricing I’m afraid of could end up being the same as it is now, with far fewer offerings.

  2. Sports is a very big deal though. My ComCast Internet includes ESPN3 which I like. I like the potential Apple deal coming this fall. It would be better with USA but you have to start somewhere. I think that this stuff will have a bigger overall cultural effect than the Apple Watch and Wall St seems to agree.

  3. If you like sports, then those that do should pay for it.

    I don’t watch sports, yet cable companies force me to pay for them.

    Make most of the channels $1 per month, make the sport channels $5 per month, make premium channels $15 per month.

    Let me choice which ones I want on a month to month basis.

        1. I’ll vote you up. I agree with you. Letting NBC, Fox and ect ect know directly does make more sense.

          But they only listen to “money” and my money is going else where. And if I can’t find an any where else, then it’s going nowhere but my savings account.

          People are cutting the cord for a reason. If they want any of money, give me what I want. Otherwise, my “cords” stay cut and I entertain myself in other ways.

        2. I think people voted down on you – only because you claimed No, they don’t… and do not see how that relates to tyleremke comment.

          Broadcasters – who are they?
          Networks – who are they?
          How are tv shows paid?

          I am no expert.
          But I figure, some one has a wild idea; say, a writer come to a Network with an interesting story. Breaking Dancing with Saul. The Network HBO, Fox or who ever then starts production using its own financing. Taking a risk on the show. Broadcasters, or Cable companies will air these shows with commercials – open time slots for paying advertisers to reimburse the Networks for the show created. The broadcasters earn their money by forcing bundles to viewers. Getting them to pay high for things they will never watch or have time too watch. There may be a percentage the cable or broadcaster gets from the commercial aired. I am not 100% on this. But if I am wrong, I am open to have this explained to me.

      1. It is mostly not about “The Cord.”

        Monopoly provider of cable & internet is the norm in the important markets. Adds are here to stay.

        Comcast & TW will still be charging for content. With no revenue, most video “entertainment programs” would disappear within weeks.

      2. That would be nice. I really would only want NESN, USA, Fox and maybe a couple other channels. A low-cost modular plan like that would be great, especially since I mainly just watch Netflix and stuff I have either on iTunes or on DVD. I haven’t had the urge to watch regular T.V. since 2011.

      3. I don’t think that you read tylerlemke’s proposal very well. It is clearly a proposed idea and NOT A STATEMENT OF FACT. Your statement: “No, they don’t.” makes no sense at all.

    1. I hear you and understand. Agree even. Mr TV.

      Hey Tyler is merely making a suggestion here.
      Freedom of choice… choice what to watch.

      Apple offers seasons at reasonable rates.
      Basically comes to 2 bucks a show. 1/2hr to 1 long.
      Its a good alternative to cable tv.
      The new episode comes out usually the next day after its been aired. Yet no commercials.

      Commercials pay who? They pay the networks during the air time for the show with was produced. For the actors, writers etc.

      Cable companies air the commercials base on location sometimes. Like newspapers place advertisements. Some local, others national.

      Pricing like Netflix may not work – yet it does seem to be what people want.

      A sense of freedom as to what you wish to watch, is what you pay for. And not being forced to take other shows you have no interest just to obtain the sports channel you really want. Crazy.

      Its marketing – and its done well for years but it needs to re-think. OR else, Cable companies will be the ones cut off. By passed by the Networks finding a way direct to viewers similar to HBO is now doing… through the internet providers.

      Most Cable companies are Internet providers here in Canada.
      Their business may change to only that – provide internet connection.

    2. I like your idea, however, iTunes sells a season pass say between,
      16 – 24 episodes for an average of 34 bucks. Older less in demand shows are really economically priced.

      Paying 15 bucks for a month is not too bad, specially if it is exactly what you want. But, say i don’t like the show. I guess I need to inform the cable company that I will no longer watch that show. Or else they automatically bill me. Thats why I suggest Cable to charge us for what we watch based on my tv being ON, by the second, like a cellphone. A detailed bill – who I have called and for how long and long distance charges incurred. WHY IS TELEVISON not like this?

      And well, typically 1 months of a season is four episodes.

      If you do the math, Apples solution, the season pass, is a better value. No commercials, My episode act like a PVR – its recorded and I can watch it over and over again. And better than a PVR I can keep the show.

    1. …But I am not english, please remove all english bundled shows, tired of looking at news I do not understand… LOL

      Forget the bundles, new thinking needs to happen.
      Even Up-starts like Acanac’s Zazeen have fallen into the same mindset. Bummer.

      The problem is what we don’t want – we have to take.

      Bundles are just the wrong idea. If cable companies wish to stay cable companies they need to change. Other wise, they will simply become internet providers. I believe there is still value in cable tv, yet these companies need to take a risk. And not bring back what they killed in the past. Bell long ago bought off Crave. A up-start company, not quite legal in it ways perhaps, but Bell was threatened and killed it. Now it has been re-incarnated to take a stab at Netflix. What all you want for 4 bucks a month. Old shows, but the freedom comes like Netflix.

      If I were abel to make a suggestion…

      In such modern times as this, the cellphone expresses options on billing by the second – as per usage. Why the heck can television not do the same. Sure give me all the channels you want cable land… Bell, Rogers… but only If my tv is on, and I watch whatever I wish, (ahh the freedom of choice – and yes specialty channels too) then bill me for what I have seen – based on the time. Similar to my cell phone usage.

      If Sports are doing so well, why does someone not collect all the old games and new games and create a SportsFlix, watch all the old or missed events you like for 7 bucks a month. Sports on demand is important too, so offer that too on a rental per view or by the second viewing.

      Why can I not be billed by the second for what I watch.

  4. They need to have ala-cart packages so customers order only the channels they want at a price that fits what channels they want. I don’t want all the shopping channels, sports channels, music channels and so on. Let me pick the channels at a price that’s reasonable and so many people would be on it like a heartbeat. And no extra charges for HD or local channels because that should be a given in this day and age of digital TV.

    1. yes you got it…

      and while they fix this… lets hope it reflects a similar method like the cellphone billing.

      who I dialed
      how long I talked for
      if it was long distance or not
      a base air fee

      — so it would be:

      what channel I saw
      how long I watched it for
      was it a specialty show or a regular show
      a base connection fee

      BILL ME IF MY TV IS ON

      otherwise screw these bundle ideas and buy from Apple iTunes the shows you love and keep them, and watch them again when you like.

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