Apple is making a major move in the TV world today. The company has announced that US subscribers can gain direct and instant access to certain television channels for $30-$40 per month.
This is a direct stab at the cable industry, and it’s just what many consumers sick of paying high cable bills are looking for.
The Channel Lineup
So far, Apple has secured deals with HBO, ABC, CBS, Fox, and Walt Disney. The company will no doubt add additional channels to that lineup soon. All of this will be available to anyone that has Apple TV and lives in the US for the price mentioned above, which is way below what most people pay for cable packages. Typically, cable packages only include desirable channels like HBO if consumers buy a big and expensive package, so the fact that Apple will be offering these in demand channels without that hefty bill is big news.
Further, Apple will be offering subscribers these channels across all Apple devices, so you can watch television on your iPhone, iPad, MacBook, or through your TV via Apple TV. Last year, Apple tried to make a similar deal with Comcast, which owns NBC Universal (parent company of Bravo, USA, and Universal Studios). Since that deal fell through Comcast’s channels will not be part of the new package deal through Apple.
Apple isn’t alone in offering consumers a cheaper way to get access to popular television stations. Netflix and Hulu already offer some in demand channels and access to popular programs, so Apple is going to have a hard time getting these channels and shows included in the Apple TV lineup. Then again, if there’s one company that can work something out with most channels, it’s Apple.
Apple has been vocal in the past regarding the way that TV exists. The company has stated before that TV as it stands today is stuck in the past. Nearly every other type of technology has changed, but TV remains the same. This is something that Apple, and other companies, aim to change.
The new Apple TV service will only be available in the United States as of this coming autumn, but Apple will likely be looking to expand the service beyond the US once the company gets a feel for how things will work out. It’s hard to imagine consumers not jumping all over this though.
Changing the Face of TV
Companies like Apple see a need for television that doesn’t come with a hefty cable bill attached. As more and more of these options pop up, the days of massive cable bills will start to fade, and cable companies are going to have to find a way to keep up. Gone are the days when you could only get HBO through the ultimate cable package. Now, companies like Apple are finding a way to offer those desirable channels to the masses sans package deal.
If you live in the US, you can look for the new Apple TV option this coming Fall. If you don’t live in the US, you may have a wait a bit longer.