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Apple Edging Further Into the Living Room by Cooperating with TV Content Providers

Following a report from earlier this week describing how Apple has approached cable companies and networks with a proposal to allow viewers to pay to skip over ads, The New York Times weighs in with a broader look at Apple's strategy for taking over the living room. The report highlights how Apple has chosen to cooperate with content providers rather than attempt to replace traditional cable companies, a strategy that is likely to make it significantly easier for Apple to establish itself in the market.

Of particular interest is a forthcoming deal to bring a Time Warner Cable app to the Apple TV, a move that would allow existing Time Warner subscribers to view content without the need for a separate set-top box and with a software interface designed by Apple.
Apple has talked in-depth with other big distributors about similar apps, according to people involved in the talks. Its intent is to collect a fee from distributors in exchange for enhancing their television service and in that way, theoretically, make subscribers more likely to keep paying for cable.

“They’re trying to apply their software expertise, their user interface expertise,” one of the people said.
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The report also points to the addition of a Sky News app among other new channels as part of an Apple TV update last month. The Sky News app, developed by 1 Mainstream, offers a simple and direct way for the channel to gain access to millions of households while laying the groundwork for further adoption of 1 Mainstream's platform.
The Sky News app is free, but the software that powers it, from a company called 1 Mainstream, also allows for à la carte subscriptions.

Asked about the implications of the app, Rajeev Raman, the chief executive of 1 Mainstream, said: “It’s a learning year for Apple. And it’s a learning year for all of us, to say, O.K., what really does work?”
Apple has long referred to the Apple TV as a "hobby", but CEO Tim Cook noted at the D11 conference back in May that the company has a "grand vision" for how Apple will be able to remake the television experience. But as with any complex market involving numerous stakeholders, the task is a challenging one and Apple is clearly working hard to win over needed partners to achieve that vision.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
I dont' want to pay for cable anymore. When I can watch the shows I want to watch without having to pay extra for the channels I don't, then you will have my interest.
Rating: 21 Votes
15 months ago

I think apple is finally realizing that they can't control every aspect of everything they get involved with.


What are you talking about? You seem to have forgotten history. :)

It's that attitude that would have paying $30 now for an album. Apple, worked with record labels way back when they were afraid to go digital. Apple pushed hard and we all benefited. Price went way down. And then Apple fought about DRM and got it removed. So the compromise was to raise the price a bit for no DRM. But the labels are never happy and want more money.

Apple pushed hard with the iPhone. They broke some of the hold the carriers had. It was the carriers that had total control over everything on your phone before Apple came along. Thanks to Apple pushing we've all benefited. Now look at all the cool choices we have from Android to iOS to Windows and so on. And look at all the cool features/apps we have when developers like Google etc have control over the phone.

The cable industry is terrible and needs to be disrupted. We are all paying 100% for something that we only use %5. Not to mention 90% of it is junk. Apple should push hard on this too. But like with music they know you have partner with people. We'd all like to brake some of the hold the cable co/providers have on us. It can only helps us - hopefully give us choice and better pricing.

This article is biased if it tries to make it seem Apple needs to have everything their way and is uncompromising. Apple always worked with other companies to offer consumers a better experience. Yes, they push hard, but you have to when you want greedy, backward-looking companies to change.
Rating: 8 Votes
15 months ago

That was my goal when I just recently moved, but Comcast suckered my into paying $10 more a month to double my internet speed to 50Mbs and get the very basic cable channels. I think with the current ATV and airplay Apple is very close on allowing more and more people to cut the cord


I haven't had cable TV for about 3 years. The value of cable TV, especially premium cable, just isn't there.
Rating: 6 Votes
15 months ago

I think apple is finally realizing that they can't control every aspect of everything they get involved with.


They couldn't get Skynet so they settled with Sky News.
Rating: 5 Votes
15 months ago
I would love something like Netflix Plus (for want of a better name), for say £30-35/mo (compared to Netflix's £6/mo) but it has all the latest movies at the same time as BD/DVD release date, and all TV shows added on the same day they air on TV.

I would pay that in a heartbeat.
Rating: 5 Votes
15 months ago

Just curious, How much will you be willing to pay for the shows that you want to watch?


Just curious, How much will you be willing to pay for the shows that you want to watch?


I currently pay 154 per month for internet and TV. (Cox Communications) The internet is horrible, (I average about 8 Mbps down but I pay for 15) but I really have no other choice. (DSL at 1.5 Mbps is my other option) If you figure the internet costs me about 50 that means I am paying 104 for the TV.

I do not have any premium channels. (HBO, Showtime, ETC) I do have every other channel they offer. In reality I only watch about 30 of the 250 or so I have. So it is fair to say I pay about $3.40 per channel per month. I would switch in an instant and maybe even pay more if the TV experience was better. I mean it 2013, why are a third of the channels I watch still not available in HD? Why do I have to surf past ESPN Deportes, and Telemundo on my way to the Science channel?
Rating: 5 Votes
15 months ago
Let Plex put an app on it.

Sell many many Apple TVs.
Rating: 4 Votes
15 months ago
I want Apple to come out with a 50" tv, with AppleTV built in.

I don't have Cable tv - have not had it for years. Back in the day, it was all about no advertising. That was the reason for cable, now it's the biggest thing and where most of the revenue comes from.

It would nice to see a $50 monthly fee for advertisement free service, then each channel would be a la carte. Premium channels could be more.
It's all possible, they just need to break it down by ratings and provide a "pick" your own for additional cost.

Would be really nice
Rating: 3 Votes
15 months ago

I dont' want to pay for cable anymore. When I can watch the shows I want to watch without having to pay extra for the channels I don't, then you will have my interest.


We bought our Apple TVs to enable us to cut the cable cord in favor of Internet streamed TV programming.

We will be none too amused if we have to go back to a cable subscription loaded with rubbish public access and mind numbing infomercial channels.
Rating: 3 Votes
15 months ago

Let Plex put an app on it.

Sell many many Apple TVs.

I would finally buy an Apple TV is there was a Plex app for it un-jailbroken.
Rating: 3 Votes

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