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.
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.