Apple to sell subscriptions to video subscriptions through the TV app

“Apple Inc.’s plan to reinvent cable TV is starting to look a lot like the strategy of its rival Amazon,” Lucas Shaw, Gerry Smith, and Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg. “For the first time, Apple plans to begin selling subscriptions to certain video services directly via its TV app, rather than asking users to subscribe to them through apps individually downloaded from the App Store, according to people familiar with the matter.”

“This would simplify the process and bolster Apple’s TV app on Apple TV, iPhones and iPads, making it a central place for people to find, watch, and buy content,” Shaw, Smith, and Gurman report. “Right now, the TV app aggregates content from other providers, allowing people to locate shows from a wide array of apps and channels like ABC, NBA League Pass and HBO, rather than having to hop between different apps. But then Apple sends customers outside its app to buy access to those channels or watch shows. With the pending change, subscription purchasing would move to the TV app. Apple could eventually move the streaming to its own app, instead of sending users to third parties.”

“Cupertino, California-based Apple plans to roll out this feature in the next year, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing plans that aren’t public,” Shaw, Smith, and Gurman report. “Potential partners described Apple’s efforts with the TV app as the company’s latest experimentation. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You can see the potential of Apple’s TV app, through the haze of its current state.


    1. Have both and prefer my desktop Mac to both.

      I want channel by channel a la carte. If Apple could work out a plan where customers can buy (x) number of channels for (X) $,€,£,¥ and then a n app that integrates the channels you buy into a guide they can do very well.

      Maybe Apple should unleash a Tsunami of Lawyers, Guns and Money on the cartel of content owners and distributors that are determined to force customers to subsidize the 40 channels they have rather then the 2 or 3 that that company owns. Of course as long as Disney CEO Robert Iger is on the Apple Board that will not happen.

  1. Television had more power than music companies and Apple had more competition with streaming — no way they were going to give Apple an in. If CBS proves successful with their streaming app to the point they don’t need cable, all providers will move to their model and Netflix, Hulu will also eventually fall. (The streaming companies are creating content, but can they create enough to compete and pay off their enormous debt.)

    Amazon is of course already survivable because of their unparalleled user base from their other types of sales. It’s its own animal now, and will eventually consume Apple within another ten years.

    Perhaps the Nets and other channels will be more content to give away a smaller piece to Apple to facilitate subscriptions, but why not build their own user-base? Apple started with only their own hardware customers prior to the iPhone/iPod when creating iTunes and grew it into billions – not sure why the Nets and other providers wouldn’t salivate at that outcome.

    The only question is will internet providers be able to recoup the lost income from their cable side by gouging consumers for streaming charges to make it all viable. Some have already tried instituting streaming limits, if for no other reason than to make the consumer aware of usage factors in volume.

    It’s all about income streams, not the consumer. Providers (to include any type of content distribution which includes Internet, film, television and private) are not trying to ‘give away’ their content to citizens; they’re trying to create consumers and make a profit. Internet providers are top of the food-chain, for now. What they lose from this cable insurgency has to be made up somewhere to appease shareholders and stay viable.

    Don’t look for relief on prices anytime soon.

    “You will be assimilated.”

    1. CBS owns the CBS Broadcast Network, CBSN an OTT Ad supported News Channel, a Sports Channel, half of the CW Network and Showtime. When Viacom is merged back in they will add MTV channels, VHQ Channels, BET, The Paramount Network and Comedy Central. If the CBS App proves profitable they will have a market advantage.

      Originally, the CBS app was about justifying a higher price for their content than what other channels and networks were getting. The money king is ESPN which commands a high price but is not as profitable as before due to the expensive rights they have bought in recent years.

      Disney wants to do something similar to mine the wallets of viewers, which is driving their want for the Fox Movie Studio and the partial ownership of Sky. AT&T wants end to end control with you watching content they own distributed by a company they now over the network they own.

      Since Hulu is currently owned in part by Fox, Comcast, Disney and Time-Warner, it will be interesting to see what shakes out. Maybe Apple should make an offer for a part or the whole thing.

  2. I love my ATV 3 (don’t have 4K so don’t need a 4) but Apple needs to at least halve the price of ATV to get people to by it in sufficient numbers to pay for the cost of content creation even with subscriptions.

  3. This story is a great big “Duh”.

    That Amazon launched their effort well before Apple means nothing.

    Cell phones existed 20 years before the iPhone was launched. All of the major players have exited the industry.

    Microsoft tried to convince the market that tablets were the future for 20 years before the iPad. Microsoft’s initial efforts were a total failure, and its current Surface effort has so far failed to gain any traction.

    Digital music players existed for about 10 years before the iPod. Within 2 years those manufacturing digital music player were laying off personnel, cutting back production, and/or leaving the industry.

    Music streaming has been around since the ’80s (RealNetworks). Apple Music arrived about 30 years later. I’m not sure if RealNetworks still exists. Today music streaming is a two horse race between Apple and Spotify (12 years old).

    Being first is no longer a guarantor of success or of being a market leader.

  4. Another Bloomberg stock-manipulation, this time “up” rather than the usual “down”.

    There’s no story here. We’ve known Apple intends to do this for months and years. They’re not claiming any new information and admit it’s a year or more away.

    The only reason for this article is lubrication — to keep the stock moving in the direction it’s been going since Apple’s earnings report.

  5. Tv app sucks. Who cares? My son’s mom upgraded hisipad mini and now we are stuck with this lame duck app. We run a mac mini itunes server and although it loads the library, something old app could never do, it’s dog slow. Takes almost 10 seconds to just open the library screws, even though there is 0 as in no video on the ipad. Then trying to tap library to get to the shared one takes 7-10 taps and then if it doesn’t crash we are in. Same with itunes and apple tv. Try taking an itunes server to a cottage with no wifi. Damn apple tv takes over two min to load a video, using cat6 cables and airport extreme, why? Damn thing is trying to phone home. Never happened back with apple tv 1 and library sharing but this damn home sharing is just tracking.

    I’m so close to giving up on apple. I have a closet full of apple tech from years and years but man are they dropping the ball

  6. I like this idea, hopefully I won’t have to be re-authenticating all the stand alone subcriptions all the time.
    On another note, off topic, anyone else having trouble viewing these stories on the MDN iOS app?
    Seems I’m being picked for a free Amazon gift card every other story I try to read. Just lucky I guess.

  7. Year by year, drip by drip, I am slowly giving up on Apple.

    And that is very painful for me to admit. This new Apple just isn’t the same as the old Apple. The excitement is gone. Too few “wows” too far apart. Too many things from Apple I grew to rely on disappearing. The phrase “it just works” no longer works.

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