Report: $30 iTunes TV subscriptions possible
Apple is reportedly pitching producers on a subscription service for iTunes television content.
All Things D reports that Apple wants to charge $30 per month for the service, and is trying to get TV studios and networks on board. The plan wouldn’t be tied to a specific device, such as Apple TV or the rumored Apple tablet. No details were given on how much content would be available, how closely the content would resemble that of a cable subscription or how many networks Apple wants to sign on before going forward.
Right now, though, it seems that interest is limited. Disney may jump in first, as it was the first content provider to sell video on iTunes, and because Apple CEO Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest single shareholder. But there’s no indication that any other networks have committed.
It seems like a long shot to me, because the networks are so tied up in their existing business model, which relies heavily on subscription fees from cable providers. In addition, All Things D reports that network executives worry about advertising revenue, with traditional television ratings dropping if people instead decide to watch online. (Although, isn’t this a fault of the ratings system for not measuring online views?)
Still, I like the idea of an Internet television pass, preferably one that was cheaper and provided a more customizable experience, even if the overall selection is smaller. I just hope Apple doesn’t have to make any major concessions, such as preventing people from watching over a television set as Hulu does, just to keep people hooked on cable.
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