A new report is today suggesting that Apple is in negotiations with several production studios and networks to provide television programming to users through the use of apps, rather than traditional television channels. The report comes from Quartz, who suggest that the companies, including ESPN, HBO and Viacom (which owns MTV and Comedy Central), are in talks with Apple and that an Internet TV service has been discussed. The report does caution, however, that technology company discussions within the TV industry are relatively common given how variable the industry is.
For a long time, Apple has been rumored to be working on a way to revamp the way that users interact with television programming, and basing the programming around apps rather than channels could be that key way in which the company can transform television. In addition to releasing their own television set, an Apple TV subscription service offering major content providers could give users a reason to move to the Apple TV model.
The pricing model that Apple could adopt is not yet clear, with the internet model sitting somewhere between the traditional Pay TV subscriptions which give a number of networks for a monthly fee, or paying for on demand programming, or unlimited streaming via a company like Netflix. The report points towards securing a deal with a major content provider such as ESPN or HBO as being a major incentive for users to upgrade to the service.
With the Apple TV already offering some of these services, essentially in their infancy, it wil be interesting to see how Apple develops this idea of TV apps further.