Is Apple preparing to push its industry-leading jukebox/device management/digital download store software in a new direction? The latest rumor making the rounds is that Steve Jobs, Eddy Cue and their merry band are preparing the way for a monthly subscription service, but you’re run of the mill pay-forever-music deal that everyone else is offering.
AllThingsD reports that Apple has been making the rounds, specifically iTunes supremo Eddy Cue, to pitch a $30 per month “over the top” TV subscription service, which would rival and notably bypass services offered by cable operators.
AllThingsD digital media maven Peter Kafka puts it thusly:
Apple isn’t tying the proposed service to a specific piece of hardware, like its underwhelming Apple TV box, or its long-rumored tablet/slate device. Instead, it is presenting the offer as an extension of its iTunes software, which already has a huge installed base: A year ago, Apple said it had 65 million iTunes customer accounts.
With Time Warner in both the content and cable businesses, and Comcast aiming for the same, the question of just how much traction Apple can get for this new service, which they hope to launch early next year, is critical. As of this report, Cupertino has yet to sign anyone.
Just add content, stir
Kafka’s write up adds that content owners are both intrigue at the possibility of new revenues but also skittish about disturbing their largely settled (and profitable) relationships with cable operators. Nevertheless, TV’s move from broadcast and cable to the web is well under way, and Apple is perhaps positioned better than anyone to make it happen bigger and faster as no else can marshall so many pieces “” computer, player, set top, store, delivery infrastructure “” of the puzzle.
Further, the rumored early 2010 timing of Apple’s $30 per month “iTunes TV” coincides with the February introduction “” also rumored “” of the company’s already legendary, but still vapor Mac tablet (a.k.a iPod touch on steroids).
Would you pay Apple $30 a month for what essentially amounts to “cable on demand”? If anyone can take the craptastic experience that is cable television and make millions want to pay for it in a whole new way, that’s gotta be Apple…
What’s your take?