Apple is showing a more acute awareness of Apple TV’s future potential, allegedly holding talks with Time Warner Cable over giving subscribers greater access to the cable provider’s network. According to sources speaking with Bloomberg, the iPhone maker has hired Hulu’s former senior vice president in charge of marketing and distribution, Pete Distad, to be the vanguard of discussions with TWC. The deal will reportedly be closed in a few months, Bloomberg said.
The move is seemingly part of Apple’s acknowledgment that the Apple TV has greater potential beyond merely being able to watch content through the iTunes ecosystem. It also highlights the fact that other set-top boxes, such as Roku, are making headway in a very competitive market, something Apple will want to combat. Apple recently added HBO Go to its little streaming gadget; live TV would put even more attention on Apple’s tiny box.
Time Warner already has deals struck with Roku and Xbox, so Apple’s TV would just be another feather under the provider’s cap. There’s already an app available for iOS devices, but this would be the first time the service has appeared in Apple’s set-top emporium. As Bloomberg notes, the deal could potentially signify Apple is willing to work under the traditional TV model, rather than building out a separate offering.
Intel is expected to introduce an on-demand set-top box later this year, a sort of Spotify-like service for TV. If that’s the case, Apple’s own little offering will need to step beyond just tapping into Time Warner Cable. We’ll see what Distad and Apple come up with in the next few months.