Apple Luring TV Content Partners With Promises of Data Sharing

Apple is having more luck getting content partners to participate in its upcoming streaming service by promising to share data with them, reports the New York Post. News of Apple's most recent streaming television plans surfaced yesterday, after The Wall Street Journal reported the company was in talks with programmers like CBS, Disney, and Fox for a service that may launch in June.

Apple has struggled to create a streaming service for several years, but has continually run into problems negotiating deals with cable companies and content providers who are reluctant to disrupt existing streams of revenue. According to the New York Post, Apple is planning to share details on who viewers are, what is watched, and when it is watched in order to tempt content providers to participate in the streaming service. Apple is also said to be allowing content providers to have a significant amount of control over the service, letting, for example, providers decide when to air ads.

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By dangling the "data carrot," Apple is offering something that traditional cable companies, Amazon and Netflix have refused to hand over to programmers.

The tech giant is playing unusually nice in an attempt to catch up to rivals such as Sony and Dish's SlingTV, which are fast building similar slimmed-down channel packages without a cable TV subscription.

Apple once had very ambitious plans for a streaming television service, which it envisioned would offer channels a la carte, but ongoing problems reaching deals with providers have caused it to scale back on its ambitions. When establishing iTunes Radio, Apple made concessions on pricing in order to get deals signed, and it's likely the company is willing to make some sacrifices to get its television service off the ground.

Today's report should be read with caution, as handing over user data to third-party programmers is something of an unusual move for Apple. The company has gone to great lengths to assure customers that it collects limited data whenever possible. Tim Cook has, on multiple occasions, stated "You are not our product" when speaking on user privacy.

We believe customers have a right to privacy, and the vast majority of customers don't want people knowing everything about them. When you make a purchase, we make a little bit of money. It's very simple, very straightforward. You are not our product, that's our product.

Apple is said to be planning to unveil the streaming television service at WWDC, with a launch coming in the fall. Pricing has not yet been finalized, but the service, which will include approximately 25 channels, could cost between $30 and $40.

Deals are still in the works and have not been agreed upon, so launch timing of the service could shift in the future.

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Top Rated Comments

mozumder Avatar
120 months ago
People think too highly of themselves if they think their anonymous TV watching data should be private.

Seriously, this is ANONYMOUS data. You don't lose any privacy because your identity is already removed.

You princesses need to stop being such narcissists. You'll get a better viewing experience that way.

To exemplify what this means: If you're a 20 year old male, it means you'll now get ads for video games when you watch a show, instead of ads for feminine hygiene products.

You are going to appreciate the ads for video games. Most people find useful ads useful, and are turned off by unuseful ads. That's why people pay money to buy newspapers and magazines, because they WANT the useful ads.

There are far too many narcissistic princesses complaining about things they like anyways.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
120 months ago
"Reports the New York Post"

Not believing it.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
120 months ago
Looks like Apple can't take the high road when it comes to selling data anymore. What a shame.

To be clear, that's if this actually happens.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisdallas Avatar
120 months ago
I don't think this is as bad as the headline makes it sound.

From the article, they're only sharing what you watch and when you watch it. I'd actually be alright with this in the case that the information helped good shows stay on air. So many good shows struggle to stay on air today because of how nobody watches anything live anymore.

Also, you have to take into consideration the fact that Apple is attempting to work with an industry that is impossible to work with. There's gonna be compromises to start with unfortunately. Ads aren't good, but we put up with them everywhere else, so I don't see it as a big surprise.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troop231 Avatar
120 months ago
But, but, but....Apple doesn't store your data. Oh NO!

Of course they store it, the point is they don't sell it.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rwarren1 Avatar
120 months ago
I love my Apple TV, but this doesn't really interest me. $30-40 for 25 channels seems pretty high, depending on the channels. I doubt that includes any premium movie channels. Maybe it is just me but I do not get it.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)