Did Apple just tip its streaming media hand?

“While Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference resulted in a number of interesting reveals, somewhat lost in all the buzz was a big announcement on the streaming front,” The Entertainment Oracle writes for Seeking Alpha. “The company announced a strategic partnership with Dish Network for its Sling TV service. The news is interesting not just because it adds even more value to the Apple platform, but because until now the assumption had been Apple was going to create its own footprint in the space.”

“Sling TV was one of the first entrants into the skinny bundle sector,” TEO writes. “These bundles collect some of cable’s most popular channels and make them accessible for online streaming at a low cost. For a generation dead-set on cord-cutting, it is a dream come true. The core service costs $20 a month and includes access to popular channels such as ESPN, CNN and AMC. However here’s the twist… just as with traditional cable you have the option to add more to your bundle and of course, the more you add, the more it costs.”

“By adding Sling, Apple is essentially saying ‘we aren’t making any progress on our own, so here’s a workaround for now.’ And that’s not a negative by the way,” TEO writes. “The Sling deal buys them more time to get their own streaming service together and when the time comes they’ll likely either look to get Dish involved or cut them loose.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is certainly content to bid their time until the deals make sense.

Sling TV launches on Apple TV – June 13, 2016


    1. Indeed. Why can’t the consumer just buy media direct from the makers? It’s annoying to have middle men like Apple getting in the way. Apple doesn’t own the pipes, nor the media. They just want to have their hands on the valve.

      1. It’s not Apple. It’s Disney, HBO, HGTV, MTV, TBS, A&E, Nat Geo, Cinemax, History Channel, etc., etc., etc. They don’t want to sell their channels/content ala carte.

        It’s like the music labels, albums, and 99¢ downloads. They’re fighting Apple every step of the way.

      2. Depends on who you’re calling the “makers.” There are already a dozen “middle-men” — writers/creators can’t sell to viewers, they need production companies to finance.

        Production companies can’t sell to viewers, they need syndicates/networks for promotion, ad sales, branding.

        Networks *could* sell to viewers, but as they’re competitors, the lack of a consistent viewer experience will harm them. NetFlix is having some success because they’re the big dog in the game, but talk to anyone who has a show they like to watch from NetFlix and one from Amazon and you’ll find an annoyed individual (especially if they’re an Apple user)

        So they turn to packagers/cable companies to provide a consistent platform & consumption experience for all broadcasters. Those in turn depend on the A/V industry to provide end-of-the-pipe viewing & listening gear.

        Apple seems to be unsure if they want to replace the cable company or the STB/TV manufacturer in the chain.

      1. AT&T bought DIRECTV, not Dish.

        The Sling deal was a middle finger to CBS and Fox who don’t want to play ball. The issue is, most everyone already pays for the content through subs and commercials.

        The media companies want to double and triple dip for the same content, and on top of that distribute crap on crap channels that no one watches.

      1. How do you know, DustyMac? AppleTV could be a money loser, we’d never know, since Apple refuses to tell investors how this important 4th platform is doing in financial statements.

        The long overdue improvements that Apple announced monday are nice, but still don’t put Apple in the lead. As George mentioned, Apple is just trying to catch up with the competition in terms of media content.

        Let’s remember that there’s very little value Apple or any other media middleman can offer. Apple is just attempting to use the walled garden app store model in the living room, and it sucks because every app is a different subscription. That’s not the a la carte experience that people really want.

        Finally, it cannot be overstated how bad the Apple TV interface is. Siri sucks. The Remote App for iOS is a dramatic long overdue improvement, and surely more improvements will continue to trickle out, but Apple is definitely not a leader in this space at all.

  1. Checked the channel offerings for Sling. Pass! Playstation Vue has the channels! However, requires Amazon Fire for IOS support.

    Timber screwed the pooch yet again.

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