Mobile Commerce

Apple Suspending Live TV Streaming Service Plans

It looks like Apple is dropping out of the race to court the cordcutters of the world.

The Cupertino-based firm will suspend its plans to develop a Web-based television service in favor of focusing on being a platform to which media companies can sell directly to consumers via the App Store.

The reports of the coming calling of quits with Internet TV arrives via “a person with knowledge of the matter,” according to Bloomberg. Reports also indicate that Apple has not entirely given up on the notion of offering a 14-or-so channel package for $30–$40 a month, but for now, at least, strong resistance from media companies seems to be sufficient to keep Apple on the sidelines. A main issue was money, specifically the high costs media firms want for their programming.

CBS Corp. Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves noted on Tuesday (Dec. 8) that Apple had put its live TV plans “on hold.”

“This will happen,” Moonves said. “It has four major networks and 10 cable networks, let’s say, and the price point will be in the $30s, $30 to $35, $40 maybe. People will not be spending money on channels they don’t want to watch.”

But, for now, with the conventional TV bundle model in place at $85 per month as an average, Apple will either have to charge more or convince many media players they want to take less.

Given the difficulties incumbent in that plan, Apple is pushing its App Store and opening it up for outside developers to sell to customers. Apple already has a number of media firms that have brought television stream apps to market, such as HBO, from which to draw inspiration. However, the approach is risky as Apple is pushing its set-top box, which, unlike its competitors, allows users to buy subscriptions to programming.

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