Apple Negotiating With Cable Companies and Networks to Allow Viewers to Pay to Skip Commercials

apple_tv_interface_2012Technology journalist Jessica Lessin, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, reports that Apple has been negotiating with cable companies and TV networks to allow customers to skip commercials and Apple would compensate programmers for the lost revenue.

Viewers could potentially pay Apple to skip commercials on a per show or per channel basis, get live commercial-free viewing of new episodes with the purchase of a Season Pass on the iTunes Store, or Apple could even offer an entire commercial-free TV subscription service.

Lessin writes:

In recent discussions, Apple told media executives it wants to offer a "premium" version of the service that would allow users to skip ads and would compensate television networks for the lost revenue, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Consumers, of course, are already accustomed to fast-forwarding through commercials on their DVRs, and how Apple’s technology differs is unclear.

It is a risky idea. Ad-skipping would disrupt the entrenched system of television ratings—the basis for buying TV ads. In fact, television broadcasters sued Dish Network when it introduced similar technology last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the D11 conference earlier this year that the company has a "grand vision" for the television, and that the current TV viewing experience "could be better". It's been previously reported that Apple wants to erase the distinction between live and on-demand video content.

Apple is rumored to have both a full-on television set as well as a more conventional set-top box in the works, in addition to its existing "hobby", as Tim Cook calls the current Apple TV box.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

Chupa Chupa Avatar
101 months ago
The irony of ad skipping is that the best shows on TV these days are on premium pay channels w/o ads. And everything most people watch DVR style and FF the ads anyway. So interesting idea, but it doesn't get me excited.

What would get me excited, but can't happen, is a completely a la cart "build your own" cable service.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
senseless Avatar
101 months ago
How will I ever know what class action medical lawsuits I might be qualified for?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pyrrhic Victory Avatar
101 months ago
I think the world would be a better place if people watched less TV,
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lkrupp Avatar
101 months ago
What part of "Nothing is Free" don't people get? Skipping commercials means fewer sales for advertisers. Fewer sales for advertisers means they start spending less on ads. Spending less on ads means less money for producing content. It's called a feedback loop, a downward spiral. Without ads content producers must charge more for their product to providers and subscription prices go up more than they already are. Paying to skip ads is one possibility but the bottom line still remains. We, the consumers, are going to pay one way or the other.

So rant all you want to about skipping ads, about the price of cable, satellite, and any other service provider. You will pay more for your favorite show. You are not getting away with anything, no matter what you think.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zoboomafoo Avatar
101 months ago
The irony of ad skipping is that the best shows on TV these days are on premium pay channels w/o ads. And everything most people watch DVR style and FF the ads anyway. So interesting idea, but it doesn't get me excited.

What would get me excited, but can't happen, is a completely a la cart "build your own" cable service.

I hope it's clear the profound difference between skipping and fast forwarding.

Fast forward on my comcast remote was like this: fast forward > fast forward > fast forward (cause I need to accelerate the silly thing) > wait ... > oh crap, rewind > damnit, fast forward > play.

Skipping works like this: NOTHING. It's automatic.

It's might seem like a subtle thing, but I think it's really, really important. It's a senseless pain point.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OrangeSVTguy Avatar
101 months ago
Already pay for cable. There shouldn't be commercials anyways since I thought that's what my money was for. Guess it's all about greed anyways.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...