So the big question here is…would you pay $30 a month to watch TV through iTunes?
This is Apple’s most recent endeavor to further expand their world-wide utilized program iTunes. They have been pitching this new idea to a variety of TV networks during the past few weeks. The company is trying to rally support for a service that would provide a monthly subscription that would bring users a variety of TV programs via the easy to use iTunes multimedia program that over a 100 million customers already use.
Apple has said that they would like to be able to offer this service sometime early next year, but as of right now, there is no news of any programmer that has made a definite commitment to the company. It is suspected that if anyone commits to Apple the first would most likely be Disney. In the past, Disney has been ready and willing to support Apple and iTunes in their endeavors. In 2005, Disney CEO Bob Iger was the first to sell their programming via a la carte downloads through iTunes. Also, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder in Disney stock.
Now there are several reasons as to why this may be difficult for Apple to work out. Different cable networks are not going to want to jeopardize their relationships and subscription fees with cable providers such as Comcast. Programmers are also afraid that the iTunes TV subscription could affect the advertising revenue. Even if iTunes didn’t offer TV programs until after their initial air date, there is still the risk that ratings would drop.
Past these factors, I’m sure that Apple is looking at how TV and movies over the Web is definitely on the rise. Netflix already offers a service with streaming movies and TV shows while also continuing disc-by-mail subscription service. iTunes and Amazon offer movie rental services, and YouTube is attempting to start up the same thing. Hulu is also trying to work out the details of a paid service that would offer rentals, downloads, or subscriptions.
So when considering all the facts, what Apple is trying to do is simply keep up with the times. TV and movies over the Web is a growing field that I would be shocked if Apple does not become involved with in the very near future. The question of the matter is…how quickly can they get the service set up and will it really take off like Apple believes? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, and for now we’ll have to depend on our other sources to watch our favorite shows.