Here’s why Apple and others still don’t offer streaming TV services

“All around us, the landscape of the TV market continues to buckle and heave as old players scramble to hold on and new entrants jockey for position. Cable companies maintain that cord cutting isn’t a big deal, but at the same time, they are busy launching their own Netflix-style streaming services,” Mathew Ingram writes for Fortune. “Now Hulu — jointly owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast — says it is going to offer a cable-style streaming service.”

“Given the massive marketplace that TV represents, especially from an advertising point of view, there are a couple of names that seem like they should be obvious players in this Game of Thrones: Namely, Google (or Alphabet) and Apple,” Ingram writes. “But neither of them offers anything close to a cable-style streaming TV service yet, despite many attempts to build one.”

“For both Google and Apple, the problem comes down to cost,” Ingram writes. “Both want to offer a service equipped with a selection of different channels from different TV networks and providers, and they don’t want it to cost more than about $30 a month because otherwise not enough people will be tempted to sign up… [But] the more competitors there are pushing streaming services, the more downward pressure there will be on prices for that content. That’s the main reason why you keep seeing reports about Google and Apple working on cable-style services that never seem to appear. (Amazon is in much the same boat.) ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The dam is going to break sooner or later. Hopefully Apple is already poised and ready for the flood with their ark well constructed this time – as opposed to how they launched their patched up dinghies named “Apple Music” and “Apple TV” last year.

Google’s YouTube said to plan ‘Unplugged’ Internet TV service for 2017 – May 4, 2016
Hulu could beat Apple to market with cable-style Internet TV service – May 2, 2016
ESPN president: Don’t hold your breath for standalone ESPN streaming – February 18, 2016
Apple cuts the cord on Internet TV plans – December 17, 2015
Apple, TV networks clash over size and makeup of Internet TV bundle – December 9, 2015
Apple debuts new Apple TV ad, ‘The Future of Television’ – December 9, 2015
Greedy media companies stymie Apple’s plan to offer Apple TV Internet TV package – December 9, 2015
CBS CEO Moonves says Apple puts live TV service ‘on hold’ – December 8, 2015
Fox’s James Murdoch, CBS’s Les Moonves hint at looming Apple Web TV service launch – November 5, 2015
CBS CEO Moonves says Apple TV content deal is likely – October 14, 2015
CBS CEO: We’re still in negotiations with Apple over new Internet TV service – May 27, 2015


    1. All of those networks cannot come to terms with Apple. What is the common denominator in each of those negotiations? Oh, yeah: Apple.

      I’m thinking that the problem may not be greedy networks.

      1. The problem, “CableBox,” is that the content owners do not want Apple and Google/Alphabet and Amazon into their playground. Did you happen to notice who owns Hulu?? Disney, Comcast, 21st Century Fox. The content providers want to maintain full control over their movie and TV properties and extract maximum profits from them rather than sharing with a third party distributor like Apple. An even worse situation, from their viewpoint, would be sharing profits from packages delivered at lower cost…the classic lose-lose for the content providers.

        I see a lot of people blasting Apple for being unable to break into this market. But the reasons are clearly evident, and Apple bears little blame. The content providers want to maintain control over the IP, distribution, and profits. In other words, they want to maintain the status quo, but with a new internet delivery system.

    2. For me it’s not channels but shows! Every CHANNEL has content that I don’t care for, or to help support, be it cable-which I quit years ago-or broadcast.

      1. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where you could say get 10 shows for $30, any 10 from any networks, and maybe you could add shows for $10 each? And if you agreed to watch them a week after broadcast they could be $5 each.

        It is not likely to ever happen without a massive overhaul in how everything from the way cable pays networks to the way networks negotiate deals with content providers to the way content providers negotiate deals with content creators, to the way that advertisers pay networks, to the way networks pay affiliates, and so on. Oh, and if anyone dares to get close, the writers will have a strike and the actors will have a strike and all the costs will go up and everyone will just say fuck it.

    3. Little to do with greed and more to do with a massively complex distribution system constantly at war within itself. Cable vs. networks vs. content vs. networks vs. cable and on and on. And everyone wants their cut.

      Here’s How The TV Business Actually Works (And Why It’s Going To Take Longer Than You Think To Disrupt It)

      Much more revealing and accurate article.

  1. To be honest, I’m not really interested in seeing a streaming service on Apple TV. I much prefer being able to watch what I want to watch on demand, rather than being tied to a schedule. Which is, of course, another advantage of cord cutting, is that you’re not tied to the schedule of broadcast TV.

    1. You assume that broadcast TV would tie you to a schedule. If they were smart, they would let you watch a particular episode whenever you wanted, maybe a day or a week after it aired in the schedule. Or just stream the whole thing on demand, releasing one show a week or all at once, like Netflix does. I totally agree with you, however, the future is ON DEMAND programming.

      1. There is still some merit to scheduled curated channals though…
        Once in a while ..i like to just kick back and see whats next .. Without me having to choose…. One gets exposed to content he/she otherwise would not be .

  2. There’s still the elephant in the room that no one talks about.

    The ISPs.

    There is still a significant portion of this country that doesn’t have access to the type of hi-speed, hi-bandwidth, no caps, low cost internet service that supports quality streaming.

    1. I consider the ISPs to be part and parcel of the ‘system’ of cable and satellite TV that has dominated our media consumption lives for decades. The ISPs should simply be the open pipes through which we choose what to consume and when to consume it. The end.

  3. I think each of the providers is fine with a $30 price so long as what’s in the $30 is solely programming they own. For customers and for Apple/Google, obviously, this is a non-starter. Thus: stuck.

  4. It’s less about channels and more about content. Shows and movies are their own brands. I don’t need cable companies & networks getting in the way of that. In a way it’s like building your own music playlists. It’s just the content or media and the consumer’s desire for what content they want directly. HBO, Netflix, etc. are kind of irrelevant to that, except as producers of content. Who cares also if a show is on NBC, ABC, Fox or CBS, etc.? A show is just a show and the thing consumers care about, not it’s host company. Even now people don’t necessarily think of the studio that made a particular film, just the film and it’s sequels instead. The New Entertainment Wave coming could become more a Producers medium and all these middle men will disappear into the sands of time.

  5. Stagnant, intransigent, 20th-century-thinking old fogeys of the media biznizz. THAT is the problem. They have consistently demonstrated CONTEMPT for their customers. They have consistently PARASITIZED their customers. They have literally lost track of capitalism and instead demanded and established a DICTATORSHIP over the users of the media they purvey.

    I say: FSCK THAT!

    It’s the 21st Century. That decrepit old customer abuse system is OVER. The future is here and demands that the OLD GUARD of the media industry STFU, roll over and play dead, offering us simply an open pipe to allows to choose to consume whatever media we like, whenever we like. That is what’s going to happen. They hate that. So shove them out of the way and let’s get there already.

    The Customer Rulz!

    1. Oh and: If you’d like an excellent example of the BAD ATTITUDE of the media industry toward their customers: Read the drafts that are available of the TTP and TTIP trade treaties. All media customers are treated as DEFAULT CRIMINALS. It’s that blatant. We are ALL media pirates in their demented eyes, and they treat us accordingly, ALL OVER THE WORLD, thanks to these sick and deranged treaties THEY WROTE for us, in their corporatocratic manipulation of world governments.

      Sick shite deluxe with a dead rat on top.

  6. The cost argument is nonsense. Apple sells and rents TV shows and Movies. It could easily go into streaming and put Netflix out of business but it is not doing it because it is making more money via selling and renting. If Apple was serious about streaming it could have bought NBC when it was for sale. Owning a network would have made a difference. But Tim Cook is a typical bean counter who has no imagination. He comes up with an Apple TV that was under powered and no streaming. It was his choice. But he could have done things differently if he wanted to. Stop blaming the TV networks.

  7. I was without cable tv since 2009. I only had internet and Sirius satellite radio until the end of 2015 when my provider, Charter, insisted me with a offer. What did it include? A new Roku 3, that I got to keep even if I cancel. I was paying $56 for high speed and wifi only before the offer. After I was able to, and am still enjoying live tv, with their Spectrum app for Roku for $20 more. What channels do I get? All the local LA channels, where I live, and I had a choice between HBO or Shortime for premium. I chose HBO and I also get about 60 channels, all PBS ind the surrounding So Cal area. I don’t see any deals coming for Apple TV and I’ve been a Mac user since 1983. I have no need for a Apple TV.

  8. I can only believe that Apple at times sits back and watches while keeping its own efforts in relative makeover mode until they make the decision to commit as and when all conditions suit them, as opposed to committing technically and structurally believing that situation will be there eventually to exploit. I can’t understand otherwise why Apple Music, Maps even and in particular Apple TV were so underdeveloped when launched. The latter after all was described, discussed, forecast and expected here and in the media for a full 2 years or so before it actually launched so only a lack of commitment to a known concept or by the lack of all elements coming together as preferred, could explain the unfinished nature of that product and ecosystem. As if realising it’s not going to get what it ideally wants, at done corporate meeting deciding last minute to brush off the cobwebs and push one aspect of the plan anyway, ie the box.

    It just stinks of indecision and meaness to those watching from the outside, an acceptance of the status quo as a preference and milking it that is more Microsoft than Apple, at least in the positive times for the latter. Jobs could get a way with it, with that focus and spark of genius more often than not sensing an opportunity early but when you are run by committee it tends to lead to confusion, delay and indecision instead using that methodology. With so many fingers in so many pies both now, and potentially to expand it is an enormous task that even SJ may have struggled with using his nose for an opportunity. It’s something that Apple will have to come to terms with if they are going to defy the critics.

  9. What is truly needed is a “TV Store”: anybody can contribute and consumers can buy whatever shows they want. Content would probably be pretty lousy initially, but once the networks started losing money to independents, content would get better because the networks would jump on the market, too. Basically, the “TV Store” would be the desktop publishing version of video content. Currently, too much money is controlling what viewers watch and restricting creative direction, an open “TV Store” could be the trickle that undermines the dam to allow for its bursting.

  10. Actually the damn will not break, at least not for players like Apple and Google. When Comcast owns over 40 networks it’s a monopoly. Sure, NBC and other networks may join together to provide their own content streaming for a fee and yes they will always be bundles, always.

    Letting someone else come in and stream it and co-op the market is not what these big players that on all the content – and the pipes – have in mind.

    I haven’t had cable or dish or anything of the sort, ever ( and I’m in my mid 40s ). I find most anything I need online if it’s live sports, and if I want to watch something I haven’t seen I can usually find it on ESPN3 and stream it to my TV via Apple TV .

    Until all a cart programming actually shows up none of this nonsense really interest me. That is to say, paying too much for just a few channels in a bundle, whether it’s streaming over the Internet, or via cable or dish, doesn’t really matter. It’s the bundles with rip off prices that matter. Keep cutting those cords people.

  11. The space has been wide open for a new player to take it where the old guard was protecting its old investments.
    It’s a big gamble, but it’s been there all along. And with more and more cable cutters growing the ranks it seems the old guard has relented and Hulu will be the testing grounds for them.
    But it’s still a very blank sheet of paper for someone to get in. My bet would be on a streaming 24 hour news network. It’s live so it’s always an attractive place for advertising. Imagine a true online news network with interactive elements like sports, entertainment and news clips. It would give CNN and everyone else a run for its money. I could see it overtake CNN almost instantly.

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