Apple has removed the ability to rent TV episodes from iTunes, leading many to speculate that a subscription service is on the way to fill in the void. Apple has gone on record stating that majority of users rather own video content then rent, but in my view that’s just bandaid PR talk. As one whom used the service, indeed it seems that Apple is trying to figure out a way to better deliver TV content from iTunes. One of Apples experiments in this realm is of course the Apple TV, which coincidently is probably the most affected by this change.
The Apple TV hasn’t been a total failure when compared to the abysmal sales of other attempts at the TV arena i.e. Google TV, but the sales clearly don’t scream total victory either. It seems not even the mighty Apple has figured out how to take on the strangle hold of TV/Cable content from the major cable providers as of yet. One can assume however that it’s in the most powerful position to get deals from the providers based on it dominant roll distribution wise with music & video DRM content.
The world, it seems is waiting for a company to be able to stream TV content as it would be on a traditional TV ala cart to it’s devices without the outrageous prices of subscription service currently experienced by the end user with cable providers. The rumor around the mill is that this move is based on the launch of a pipe dream service called “iTunes Replay” which isnt the dream we all hope for but in fact another attempt at doing ala cart programming. Upon reading numerous reports that dream is more stalled then the current DOJ filing against the mega merger of At&t & T-mobile USA. It seems that the industry makes it hard to launch a cloud TV service due to the limitations of how long a company can stream and how many times it can be streamed. This political nonsense not only is detrimental to anyone trying to attempt this service, it also has disastrous results on a company when it comes times to renew the agreement.
Currently Netflix is undergoing a sharp drop in its stocks due to Starz wanting higher costs for it’s “precious” content to be streamed. The end result was Starz pulling out of the deal along with content from Sony and Disney creating a ripple effect of content that will soon be stripped from the current Netflix catalogue. There is no words to express how dissatisfied I am with how the industry is basically depriving the end user of better ways of viewing content without bankrupting the companies providing the distribution when a contract is up for renewal. If one looks at the renewal costs from Starz for example the first contract cost Netflix 30 million to bring them on board. In the span of a couple of years that asking price of renewal Starz is rumored to have proposed i estimated around 300 million!
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the day may not be any where near when you can simply open your iPad log into your paid HBO app (without being tied to a cable provider) and simply watch a live episode of your liking. Upon watching that content on the go, arrive at your home load up you Apple TV and continue watching a nice live stream without the horrific experience of paying for a thousand channels that you never watch. Will Apple take on the industry and give users a better way to watch there loved TV content, I most certainly hope so. One may argue that Apples strangle hold on the music industry may be mirrored in the Movie/TV industry. At this point my concern isn’t what’s going to happen if that ever occurs to be honest. I genuinely would take any companies side that’s willing to bring TV content from these insane cable providers to the 21st century. Google failed to crack the door open, hopefully Apple can gain some ground in this uphill battle.