Apple has reportedly sparked negotiations with cable companies about giving viewers the ability to skip commercials on its new but still unannounced TV service. According to former WSJ writer Jessica Lessin, the iPhone maker is trying to convince big cable executives to let consumers bypass ads altogether—an allotted time wouldn’t even need to play in between—really changing up the traditional format. Apple is allegedly willing to pay the cable companies for whatever revenue is lost from the skipped commercials, Lessin wrote.
The ad-skipping function would allegedly be the icing on Apple’s mysterious TV service, which has reportedly been in the works for nearly a year now. Apple is still trying to secure rights for a live and on-demand service; talks have been on and off, but have apparently heated up in recent days. The skipping feature would be part of a “premium” experience, people briefed on Apple’s plans claim. No word on what kind of price will be attached.
Current services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus have essentially conditioned people to get used to zero commercials, which is why folks so badly want to see it filter down to TV. That and being able to subscribe to specific channels only. Cable companies have allegedly been reluctant to acquiesce to Apple’s demand, but things could change now that Apple is willing to compensate for lost revenue. Lessin claims Apple is attempting to secure deals with Time Warner Cable, among others; the service would work through Apple’s own set-top box, which isn’t all that unexpected. Whether we’ll see an actual TV remains to be seen.