Is Apple Planning To Launch Its Own Subscription TV Service This Year?
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple may be launching its own subscription TV service by September of this year. The tech giant is said to be in talks with various TV programmers in order to offer a subscription TV service that is Internet-based. Apple has not officially announced its plans yet, but sources cite that the subscription TV service will be unveiled in June.
Apple's subscription TV service will provide programming from about 25 channels, including major networks like Fox, ABC, and CBS. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the channels would be available on all devices powered by Apple's iOS mobile operating system, of which the Apple TV is a prime example. Similar to Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vue service and Dish's Sling TV, Apple's subscription TV service will deliver programming content across the web.
Because it is not officially out yet, no details regarding subscription rates are available for Apple's subscription TV service as of this writing. But many predict though that it will be in the $30 per month to $40 per month range. For comparison, Dish's Sling TV costs $20 a month and already offers 12 channels, including CNN, Disney Channel, TNT, ESPN, and HGTV.
The past few weeks, Apple has been busy inking deals related to TV viewing. Just a week ago, Apple finalized a deal with HBO Now. Beginning April of this year, owners iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs will be able to subscribe to HBO Now for $15 every month. This arrangement is a three-month exclusive among new digital distributors, which gives Apple a slight edge over Google's Chromecast and Roku.
Despite getting HBO, Apple was not able to attract every major network. NBCUniversal is notably absent. But that is not too surprising, considering that Apple has some conflict with Comcast, which just happens to be the parent company of NBCUniversal. Last, it was reported that Apple and Comcast were in talks to offer streaming TV service that would take full advantage of Comcast's broadband resources. However, those talks stalled, causing Apple to think that perhaps Comcast was stalling because it busy with its own XI Web-enabled set-top box.
Apple has actually had on-and-off talks with a number of media companies in the last few years. The aim has always been the same -- to create a subscription TV service that would be delivered to consumers over the web. However, many of Apple's proposals were too out of the box (typical Apple approach) for most of the media companies. Unsurprisingly, the talks never amounted to anything. But now, it appears that things are finally going Apple's way. We won't know for sure until June or September if Apple's subscription TV service is the real deal, but it is definitely something worth watching out for.