The folks over at AllThingsD are claiming that Apple has been shopping the idea of a TV subscription service to TV networks at a monthly price point of $30. The potential here really goes beyond streaming TV to your computer. A media subscription service would undoubtedly transform the Apple TV into something far beyond a “hobby”. That’s just the beginning.
As history has shown, the Apple TV has seen some underwhelming success. With low adoption rates and a lackluster feature set, it’s no wonder Apple is taking the necessary steps in an effort to claim its spot in the TV set-top box market. Assuming the cooperation of the major TV networks, the devices like the Apple TV could actually replace your current TV provider. All TV shows essentially become on-demand programming, and best of all, sans commercials. Even more, mindless channel surfing would meet its match.
Because everything is through iTunes, devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch would be linked to the same account. The same content accessible to your computer would be streamable wherever your device connects to a WiFi signal. Downloadable content to your devices would work for offline viewing and remain on the device so long as your subscription continues. If the tablet is real, expect the same with a better viewing experience.
There are a few contingencies before the whole idea’s success gets blown out of proportion. It’s going to take a whole lot of network participation for consumers to replace their monthly cable provider with the iTunes subscription. Would content be available for online viewing the same night it airs? Probably not and that alone is enough to turn some consumers off. It still seems strange that consumers would be won over by Apple but when a provider like Hulu is preparing something similar, there’s instant backlash.
Why isn’t Apple applying the same idea to music? People really seem to love the Zune Marketplace. What would it take for you to drop your current TV provider? Let us know what you think in the comments!