Why Apples’ Live TV Service Failed Before It Was Ever Released




AppleTVFor several years now we have heard reports about how Apple had huge plans to release a game changer of a streaming service. This Apple TV streaming service was rumored to be a Sling TV killer because it would offer live TV in a way no one has ever done.

Hopes started to skyrocket for this live Apple TV service last year as the new Apple TV release was approaching. Sadly, there are many reports that the Apple TV service is now dead.

So why did the live Apple TV service fail? That is complicated, but more and more fingers are pointing to a heavy-handed approach that Apple took to make this service.

It has been long thought that Apple was one of the issues behind why the Apple TV streaming service failed to become a reality. Now we have a report from The Wall Street Journal that squarely points the finger of blame at Apple itself.

It sounds like Apple tried to put strict rules on the TV industry and was unwilling to negotiate, making the talks an “it’s all our way or nothing” offer. One cable-industry executive sums up Mr. Cue’s strategy as saying, “We’re Apple.”

“We’re challenged in a lot of ways, but we’re not waiting for this white knight to come racing in the way music was,” one senior TV executive told The Wall Street Journal.

It sounded like a lot of the hang up with a cloud-based DVR option and Apple’s plans to offer full seasons of on-demand hit shows. Apple also reportedly wanted global access to content and that, above all, was something content owners were not willing to give up.

Apple was even going as far as to tell Disney that they would get $13 a month per subscriber and that Disney could put anything they wanted on the service for that price. Meaning Disney would only get $13 for ESPN channels, Disney Channels, and other popular channels at the time such as ABC Family.

Other media companies thought Apple was trying to bluff them when Apple told them “We’ve got Disney and Fox. Are you guys in?”

In the end it sounds a lot like content owners became scared that Apple would do to them what Apple did to music. Apple failed to help the situation by their hard-line negotiations.

The Apple TV service is something I often thought would not work out for a variety of reasons even if Apple had not taken such a hard stance. TV watching is very different from music, and Apple seems to have wanted to impose the music-industry model on TV watchers.

If you want to learn more about the Apple TV story and how everything fell apart for Apple check out The Wall Street Journal story.

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