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$30/month iTunes “Cable Killer” Subscription Service On The Way?

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By David Ponce

The word on the street (meaning Peter Kafka from AllThingsD) is that Apple has been going around TV networks over the last few weeks pitching a $30/month subscription service that would make it possible to watch TV through iTunes. It’s not clear exactly how this would work. For instance, we don’t know whether this would make live programs available live or as a later download, nor whether you’d have access to the same kind of programming that you get currently from cable companies. This of course would depend on how many networks jump on board, a selling task left up to iTunes boss Eddy Cue. Rumor has it

“that if anyone jumps first, it will be Disney (DIS), since CEO Bob Iger has shown a willingness to experiment with Apple and iTunes in the past: In 2005, Disney was the first player to sell its programming on iTunes, via a-la-carte downloads. And Apple CEO Steve Jobs is Disney’s largest single shareholder, a result of Disney’s 2006 acquisition of Jobs’s Pixar animation studio. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment.”

Whatever happens, Apple’s in a hurry as they’d like to launch this early 2010.

The question is, would you pay $30 for a service like this? Would you ditch your cable company? Everything is moving to the web as it is, so this seems like a natural and perhaps inevitable evolution for broadcast… but is it too ambitious, too soon?

[ AllThingsD ] VIA [ Dvice ]







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  • jackthompson

    “Would you ditch your cable company?”

    Seems to me that even if a lot of Americans went the iTunes route, they'd still need a relatively fat pipe to download/stream this content, right? So they'd probably still be in bed with their cable company, they just wouldn't be buying TV from them. Fiber doesn't count. Fiber is a pipe dream for most people in the US.

  • michaelrayl

    I would hope that rather than (or in addition to) a flat fee per month, there would also be an a la carte option for those of us who have a much smaller TV “appetite”.

  • Phlow

    my biggest problem is that i like to watch tv on…
    *GASP*
    A TV! watching shows/movies on a computer screen is nice, but it's not really practical with more than one or two people

  • chaosoldier

    Have you seen the new iMacs??? Maybe that will change your tune.

  • chaosoldier

    This is again, an interesting idea. I don't really see it as feasible for streaming live video and audio for just the reasons jackthompson said. But it would be nice to see more options including TV shows on the iTunes rental site.

  • Nikkita Croix

    A lot of channels already offer some of their programs online. Even if you had fiber, you would still have to pay a ton of money to get enough bandwidth for more than one computer. Additionally, would you be able to put it on your ipod/iphone or other mobile device, or watch on more that 1 computer?

    I don't think it would kill cable very quickly, if at all.

  • http://www.hogwashnews.com Sir No Bull

    Well, how about MS Media Center driven mini Asus attached to your plasma huge TV … even better.

  • mcman

    I'm a creature of habit. I lose my comfort if I can't sit in front of my giant Plasma TV. In fact, I am so set in my ways that I prefer to watch shows with full commercials even though I don't like commercials. Kinda queer isn't it?

    Anyway, I'd just slap a cable to my TV for this.

  • Jessicat

    Okay see the issue is when i download songs from itunes or music videos my internet comes to a stop for any other activity. I think watching tv on it will do the same and other people on the network would be upset at me.

  • Jessicat

    Okay see the issue is when i download songs from itunes or music videos my internet comes to a stop for any other activity. I think watching tv on it will do the same and other people on the network would be upset at me.