Following on from an article by the WSJ yesterday which suggested that Apple could be working on a new type of subscription TV service, CNET has handed them an impressive bitch slap in the form of a rumor debunk, stating that there is no way that Apple is working on a subscription video service. Author Greg Sandoval strongly suggests that Apple is certainly not going to be in a position to offer a subscription based video service through iTunes in the near future, simply because movie studios want to make consumers pay more for online content.
“…does this sound like the studios are willing to back a new subscription service from Apple or for anyone else for that matter? No. Don’t put any stock in the rumors…My sources at the studios said three weeks ago that an Apple subscription service is not coming anytime soon, if ever….The talk coming out of Hollywood is about raising prices for content and offering Netflix less, not more. They don’t want to discount content just because it’s on the Web.”
So, putting aside the rumor debunk for now, it looks like Apple isn’t going to be offering a movie locker or video subscription service through iCloud at any point in the future. Additionally, it seems that movie studios think they should be charging more for online video content, meaning that we could potentially see price rises, not reductions, in the price of movies and TV shows purchased from iTunes. This would apparently be out of Apple’s control, since it is the movie studios that want to increase the price of the content.
Given that consumers are paying for the online streaming content, which is frequently of a lower quality than DVD, the bandwidth through which the content is delivered and the fact that there is no physical media required to store the content, does it seem like a fair plan when studios state they want to increase prices? Perhaps not, but then again, it’s nothing new.