According to sources close to the negotiations, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) are nearing a deal that would see Time Warner offering access to some of its channels on Apple TV. This is what is being reported by Bloomberg News today citing numerous sources that would not go on record yet.
Time Warner Will Be First To Provide Content To Apple TV
If the deal is struck, Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) will be the first cable company to provide content to Apple TV. This follows last month’s negotiations that will supply Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) with content from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s HBO and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s ESPN. The Cupertino company is also hiring Pete Distad from online-video service Hulu LLC, where he was senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution. It is believed that Distad has already been involved in the three aforementioned negotiations.
Apple TV Sales
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has sold 13 million Apple TV boxes since it began selling the set-top device in 2007, but through content accumulation, it’s clear that this number is not where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would like to be and is looking to expand. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also appears to be keenly aware of a shift to on-demand programming and the success that Roku has had appealing to this market.
“It’s not necessary for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to remake the media industry but to sell a great TV product,” Benedict Evans, an analyst at Enders Analysis in London said in an interview. “They are methodically adding to Apple TV.”
The approach that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is taking stands in stark contrast to what Intel is trying to accomplish for its set-top box. Intel is trying to create an internet based approach that would put it in direct competition with satellite and cable providers by using live programming rather than the existing content favored by Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) Chief Executive Officer Glenn Britt has made it clear that he doesn’t particularly care about the fact that Apple TV would be providing viewers with Apple’s “TV Guide,” even as Time Warner is working on developing a new interface of its own.
“We think that allowing people to get the very best experience is key competitively,” Britt said in August. “As long as they buy video from us, I don’t really care.”
Tim Cook has recently suggested that TV remains a bit of a dinosaur that hasn’t adjusted to the digital age we live in.
“When you look at the TV experience, it’s not an experience that I think very many people love,” Cook said at the D: All Things Digital technology conference. “It’s not one that has been brought up to date for this decade. It’s still an experience much like 10 years ago or 20 years ago.”
It’s clear that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking forward to changing this.