Apple's annual developer conference in San Francisco.
Apple Pitching iTunes Subscriptions to TV Networks?
Apple isn't tying the proposed service to a specific piece of hardware, like its underwhelming Apple TV box, or its long-rumored tablet/slate device. Instead, it is presenting the offer as an extension of its iTunes software, which already has a huge installed base: A year ago, Apple said it had 65 million iTunes customer accounts.
A so-called "over the top" service could theoretically rival the ones most consumers already buy from cable TV operators -- if Apple is able to get enough buy-in from broadcast and cable TV programmers.
According to the report's sources, TV networks are intrigued by the potential for increased revenue streams that could be afforded by Apple's proposal, but are also leery of harming their existing relationships with the cable companies that carry their programming and advertisers who look to viewership numbers on those systems when targeting their campaigns.
The report notes that other companies, including Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and Google's YouTube have also been moving into the digital delivery arena, indicating that the time may be right for Apple to make its move.
So Apple's proposed subscription service, which the company has floated in the past, is no longer a huge stretch. Says one executive briefed on the company's plans: "I think they might get it right this time."