Apple was said to be planning to offer a live Internet-based television service, but now the company has reportedly suspended those plans, says a report from Bloomberg citing a person familiar with the matter. The iPhone firm has now shifted its focus to being a platform with an App Store that can be used by the media companies for selling directly to customers.
Live-TV service plans on “hold”
Apple reportedly has no intention of giving up entirely on a live-TV service. The company was said to have had plans of selling a package comprised of 14 or so channels with monthly charges of $30 to $40, but media companies are opposing the plans due to monetary issues. The media companies had been demanding more money for their programming, the report said.
New entrants have to face a lot of difficulties in persuading media companies to overhaul the conventional pay-TV bundle priced at about $85 a month, and Apple’s struggle is an example of that. This logjam can be broken in two ways: either Apple agrees to charge customers more, or media companies agree to a lower price. Also CBS CEO Les Moonves said that Apple has put its plans “on hold” for some time. While speaking at a conference on Tuesday, Moonves told attendees that most probably, Apple will offer a bundle of channels eventually.
“This will happen. It has four major networks and 10 cable networks, let’s say, and the price point will be in the $30s, $30 to $35, $40 maybe,” Moonves said, adding that this way people won’t be required to spend money on the channels they do not watch.
Apple focusing on app strategy
Presently, Apple is focusing on opening up its App Store to outside developers, which is the same strategy that helped it make the iPhone became a huge success. Several media companies have already adopted this approach with television, including Time Warner, which sells HBO Now for $15 a month.
However, the same approach might make it difficult for Apple’s newest set-top box, which was released in October, to stand out as there are already several major players in the market, such as Roku, Amazon and Google, that allow customers to buy subscriptions to television programming.
Meanwhile, Amazon is considering a Live TV service, and plans to sell subscriptions to Showtime, Starz and other services. In addition, smaller, less expensive channel bundles are also delivered over the internet by cable, satellite and phone providers like Comcast, Dish Network and Verizon.