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Apple Close To Deal With Steven Spielberg For ‘Amazing Stories’

October 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc is putting the final touches on a deal to make 10 new episodes of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s science fiction anthology series “Amazing Stories,” landing a premiere Hollywood talent for its plunge into original TV programming, a source with knowledge of the discussions said.

The series would be produced for Apple by Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal television production unit. “Amazing Stories” originally ran on the NBC broadcast network.

“We love being at the forefront of Apple’s investment in scripted programming,” NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke said in a statement about the show’s planned revival.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. Amblin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal is the first to be made public since Apple hired veteran Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg in June to expand the iPhone maker’s push into original programming, a field crowded with streaming services and traditional networks.

It is unclear how people will be able to watch “Amazing Stories” or when it will debut. Apple has not divulged if it will put its own TV series in the iTunes Store, where it sells shows made by other companies, or on another platform.

The deal with Spielberg fits with a strategy Apple executives have outlined in meetings with Hollywood executives. Apple has emphasized in the discussions that it wants prestigious programming and to work with A-list actors, producers and writers, according to sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

The company already has placed bids on other projects, including for a comedy series about morning television starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, sources said.

“They are looking for really high-end premium stuff they feel is creatively in line with the Apple brand,” one source said of Apple’s strategy.

The technology company is competing with several established players that have hooked big name stars, such as Netflix Inc and Time Warner Inc’s HBO, plus newer entrants like Facebook Inc FB.N.

 Apple has committed $1 billion to start its programming push, the sources said. Netflix, by comparison, says it will spend up to $7 billion on content next year.

The budget for “Amazing Stories” will be more than $5 million per episode, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported that Apple had reached a deal for the series.

Apple TV New Set-top Box Said To Be 4K Capable

August 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple is rumored to be planning a renewed push for a place in your entertainment system with an upgraded set-top box that will stream 4K video.

The new Apple TV box will feature a faster processor capable of streaming higher-resolution 4K content and highlighting live television content, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The update box is expected to debut at an event in September, along with a new iPhone and Apple Watch models, sources told the news outlet.

The move would underscore Apple’s ambitions to improve its standing in the streaming market. Apple commands only 15 percent of the set-top market as of the end of March, according to a survey by Parks Associates, trailing Roku, Amazon and Google.

It’s been two years since Apple’s TV box got a hardware upgrade. In 2015, the company added a new remote control, an App Store and support from its Siri voice assistant. Apple also took a page from its own iPhone playbook, introducing a new operating system that supports a world of apps. Called tvOS, the software allows Apple TV to now run new kinds of media, including games and fitness programs.

At its developers conference in June, Apple CEO Tim Cook promised “you’ll be hearing a lot more about tvOS later this year.” The company also announced that an official app for the popular Amazon Video service will be available later this year on Apple TV.

Apple didn’t immediate respond to a request for comment.

Walmart’s Vudu Comes To Apple TV

August 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

The Apple TV streaming box might not be as popular as Roku, Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV, but it still has a loyal following, especially among people committed to Apple’s ecosystem of iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, and software.

Since its streaming box launched, Apple has maintained a jealous hold on purchases of TV shows and movies made through the device: you can only use iTunes to buy or rent individual episodes, seasons and films. Now for the first time, a big iTunes competitor has an app available on the box.

Vudu, the movie and TV streaming service owned by Walmart, launches on Apple TV Monday. The app allows you to watch stuff from your Vudu library, including UltraViolet movies redeemed from Blu-ray discs and DVDs, and you can browse Vudu’s collection of free movies and shows.

What you can’t do is rent or buy anything directly from the on-screen app. The only way to do that on an Apple TV is via iTunes. The same restriction applies to Apple’s iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone. But you can still buy videos through your browser — or on other devices, like Roku — and they’ll be accessible from your Vudu collection on the Apple TV almost instantly.

Apple has also announced that Amazon Video is coming to Apple TV later this year. We don’t have any additional details at the moment but don’t be surprised if, like Vudu, the Amazon app doesn’t allow purchases. The reason? Doing so would require Vudu and Amazon to give Apple a percentage of each sale.

 

Apple Snags Sony Pictures Television Execs For Original Content Ambitions

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

In what is the clearest sign to date about creating its own TV shows and movies, Apple has hired highly respected Sony Pictures Television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to run video programming.

The duo, co-presidents at Sony who helped create AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and ABC’s “Shark Tank,” will report to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

Apple has long been expected to make a big push into creating original video content. Earlier this year, Apple execs said the company would become more aggressive about creating original video to help distinguish Apple Music from competitors such as Spotify.

A push toward creating TV shows and movies marks a break from Apple’s traditional business of selling iPhones and Macs. The company is increasingly looking to take on Netflix and Amazon, both of which have a growing roster of original programming, including full-length movies and award-winning series. Apple potentially sees its content as another way to tie you into its growing universe of products and services.

It has two shows in development: “Carpool Karaoke” and “Planet of the Apps,” which recently made its debut.

Carpool Karaoke,” a spinoff of a segment from “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” was supposed to arrive in April but has now been rescheduled for August.

“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” Cue said in a statement. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”

 

Was Apple’s “Planet Of The Apps” A Good Idea

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Apple’s debut into the world of original television programming shows that its self-obsession and lack of self-awareness make for dire telly.

Apple felt that the world was ready for it to show off its skills and make some original content. It had to be “Apple friendly” and still interest those users that it really does not like. What could go wrong?

Well according to even the most sympathetic reviewers in the Tame Apple press, the show is really dire.

The idea is to bring app developers in a competition to try to get mentoring and assistance from hosts Jessica Alba, will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. Now call me odd but I really would not think Gwyneth and Jessica know that much about programming and, try as I may, I have not ever been able to find the point of will.i.am.

Contestants describe their proposals as they ride an escalator down onto a stage where the judges sit, and then fire questions at the app developer.

Variety said the “Planet of the Apps” feels like something that was developed at a cocktail party, and not given much more rigorous thought or attention after the pitcher of mojitos was drained. It’s it’s a bland, tepid, barely competent knock-off of ” Shark Tank,” moaned the magazine.

“Apple made its name on game-changing innovations, but this show is decidedly not one of them. The program’s one slick innovation is the escalator pitch,” it added.

The show makes too many assumptions. The first one is that you will know who everyone is, when they are only famous for supporting Apple to the point of naming their own children after the company. The second assuming is that you will care about  Apple’s development process and believe it is a way to make money. Most developers of Apps for the fruity cargo cult would rather be doing something else like gouging their own eyes out with spoons. Apple does not make the creation process that easy and takes a way a big chunk of money for its lack of co-operation.

All up this shows the arrogance and narcissism of Apple in its rotting corpse glory. A sensible outfit would have spent the money having someone who knew what they were doing product a show.  Apple gets more positive publicity from its product placement on shows like Grim than it would ever get for this pile of tosh.

Courtesy-Fud

Facebook Launches App For Smart TVs

February 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Facebook Inc is launching an app for smart TVs that will aid the social network’s users in being able to view its videos on a larger screens.

The app will roll out soon from app stores for Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV and Amazon Fire TV, the company said in a blogpost on Tuesday.

The blogpost also said users can scroll through their news feed and simultaneously watch videos on their timeline.

 Sound also fades in and out as one scrolls through videos in news feed now. Videos in news feed have previously played silently — one needed to tap on a video to hear its sound.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook was creating an app for TV set-top boxes that would bring the company closer to live video and video advertisements.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg during a post-earnings call said this month that the company expected a major ramp-up in hiring and other spending during 2017 as it invests in video and other priorities.

The company last year expanded its live video product, Facebook Live – a potential threat to broadcast television.

Facebook Sets Sights On Television Set-top Boxes

February 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Facebook Inc is developing an app for television set-top boxes, including Apple Inc’s Apple TV, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The world’s biggest online social network is also in discussions with media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming, the Journal reported on Tuesday.

Facebook declined to comment.

An app for set-top boxes would bring Facebook closer to live video and video advertisements.

Getting advertisers to buy more video ads is key to Facebook’s continued revenue growth as such ads fetch higher rates from advertisers than text or photo-based ads.

Live video is also becoming a highly competitive feature on social platforms, with companies competing to stream major sports events and exclusive video components from high-profile events such as the Oscar and Grammy awards shows.

In April, Facebook expanded its live video product, Facebook Live – a potential threat to broadcast television, giving it prominent placement on its app and rolling out features to make it easier for users to search and comment in real time.

Apple Watch Sales Off To A Strong Start During Holiday Season

December 7, 2016 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

apple-watch-2-150x150Sales of the Apple Watch to consumers racked up an impressive record during the first week of holiday shopping, and the current quarter is on track to be the best ever for the product, Apple Inc  Chief Executive Tim Cook told Reuters.

Cook said the gadget’s sell-through – a measure of how many units are sold to consumers, rather than simply stocked on retailers’ shelves – reached a new high.

Cook’s comments followed a report on Monday from technology research firm IDC estimating that the tech giant sold 1.1 million units of the Apple Watch during the third quarter of 2016, down 71 percent from the year-ago quarter. The comments offer a glimpse of the gadget’s performance during the holiday quarter, which is typically Apple’s strongest.

 “Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook wrote.

“Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,” he said.

Cook did not respond to a request for specific sales figures for the gadget.

Apple has disclosed few details about the performance of the Apple Watch, its first new product released under Cook. The company has not broken out sales of the gadget in its earnings, instead lumping it into an “other products” category that includes devices such as the iPod and Apple TV.

Strong sales of the Apple Watch are to be expected during the holiday quarter as the gadget is a more natural gift than some of the company’s other products such as the iPhone or Mac computer, said analyst Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research. Apple also lowered the price of the gadget this year, potentially helping the holiday sales comparison, O’Donnell noted.

 

AT&T Launches New Video Streaming Service

November 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

directv-now-150x147If you’re looking ditch cable TV, a new video streaming service from AT&T will be available starting today.

DirecTV Now is a flexible pay-as-you-go streaming service that starts at US$35 per month. DirectTV’s conventional satellite service is the foundation, but the content will be streamed over the internet.

Traditionally, users needed a two-year commitment and credit check to get DirecTV, but those requirements are not needed for the new service. The streaming service will work on the Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, as well as mobile devices with Android and iOS and PCs.

There are four pricing bundles, AT&T said at a press event in New York City. Users will be able to get more than 60 channels for $35, more than 80 for $50, more than 100 for $60, and more than 120 for $70. As an introductory promotion, AT&T will offer 100 channels for $35.

The programming lineup includes Disney channels, ESPN, AMC, Turner Broadcasting, NBC Universal, Fox, and many more channels. HBO and Cinemax can be added for $5 each. A deal to add CBS and Showtime is being negotiated.

NFL Sunday Ticket won’t be available with the service, but AT&T is also negotiating to add the service. NFL content will still be available on the games broadcast on NBC, Fox, and ESPN. When CBS is added, its NFL games will be available, too.

AT&T also plans to add a cloud DVR service in the coming years. Subscribers will be able to watch two streams simultaneously on separate devices.

The interface is key to the success of a streaming TV service. DirecTV Now will be able to track the programs users are watching and provide recommendations based on categories. The content is categorized as TV shows, movies, and networks. The interface will list shows people are watching, and users will be able to search content.

DirecTV Now is the third major streaming TV option after Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Dish’s Sling TV. It’s competitive on price with PlayStation Vue, which starts at $40, but not as cheap as Sling, which has fewer channels for $20.

For AT&T, DirecTV Now is a big deal and a new way to deliver programming. It’s also a way to say goodbye to the ubiquitous DirecTV satellite receivers.

“This is the foundation for how we’ll do things in the future,” said John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group.

VeVo Hits 17 Billion While Calling Goof The Devil

May 3, 2016 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Vevo might be the new MTV for millennials, who might not know MTV that played music a few decades ago. Vevo CEO Erik Huggers had an interview at a Hunter Walk blog talking about YouTube, subscription base and the future.

Vevo CEO, ex Intel and ex BBC executive Erik Huggers mentioned that the Vevo will get a subscription based service but for the time being the company will stay with add supported content. Huggers first worked first on the iBBC player and later at Intel OnCue, then Verizon before getting the Vevo CEO.

The company has announced a new Apple TV, iOS and Android applications for people who like to watch the content on the TV console or their tablets and phones. Huggers mentioned that Vevo was getting 17 billion unique views per month. He said that if you are musician you will prefer Spotify for audio streaming and Vevo to YouTube, and here is why.

Peter Mensch, the manager of bands including Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse  told a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the music business:

“YouTube, they’re the devil. We don’t get paid at all.”

The BBC quoted him saying that YouTube was killing the record industry.

There is now way you can say it better than this, Mensch obviously knows what he is talking about. When we dug a bit deeper into the issue, bands have issues with complete albums being uploaded to YouTube. The big bands don’t get paid at all, at least according to Peter Mensch.

Vevo might turn its back to YouTube, despite its current business model where the company uses YouTube to distribute its videos. We see a big change coming. Artists are obviously not happy as people are ripping their stuff and not paying.

Online publishing was an area where big mistakes were made 20 + years ago. Online magazines usually rely on marketing, same as YouTube, but it seems that YouTube, Facebook and other big social based website make a lot of money and giving YouTubers and artists pennies.

Huggers believes Vevo can offer a tailored experience which is personalised for individuals who love music videos via various channels including Apple TV or mobile applications. Imagine if Vevo starts offering exclusive concert footage of your favourite bands, this would probably be worth of a few bucks a month, wouldn’t it?

Courtesy-Fud

 

Apple Drops iCloud Storage Plan Prices

September 22, 2015 by  
Filed under Around The Net

For the second time in as many years, Apple dropped prices for its expanded iCloud storage plans, putting costs in line with rivals like Google, Microsoft and Dropbox.

Apple announced changes to iCloud extra storage pricing earlier this month at the event where it unveiled new iPhones, the larger iPad Pro and a revamped Apple TV.

Although the Cupertino, Calif., company did not boost the amount of free storage space — as Computerworld speculated it might — and instead continued to provide just 5GB of iCloud space gratis, it bumped up the $0.99 per month plan from 20GB to 50GB, lowered the price of the 200GB plan by 25% to $2.99 monthly, and halved the 1TB plan’s price to $9.99.

Apple also ditched last year’s 500GB plan, which had cost $9.99 monthly.

The new prices are in line with the competition; in one case, Apple’s was lower.

Google, for example, hands out 15GB of cloud-based Google Drive storage for free — triple Apple’s allowance — and charges $1.99 monthly for 100GB and $9.99 each month for 1TB. The smaller-sized plan is 33% more per gigabyte than Apple’s 200GB deal, and Google’s 1TB plan is priced the same as Apple’s.

Microsoft also gives away 15GB. Additional storage costs $1.99 monthly for 100GB — the same price as Google Drive — while 200GB runs $3.99 per month, 33% higher than Apple’s same-sized plan.

Microsoft does not sell a separate 1TB OneDrive plan but instead directs customers to Office 365 Personal, the one-user subscription to the Office application suite. As part of the subscription, customers are given 1TB of OneDrive space. Office 365 Personal costs $6.99 monthly or $69.99 annually.

 

 

 

Does The Apple TV Have Gaming Potential?

September 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

As has so often been the case with announcements from Apple, a company once famed for its strict secrecy, the rumor mills had the right of it; Wednesday morning’s event in California saw the unveiling of a new Apple TV device with a motion-sensitive controller and the ability to run third-party applications. If not exactly centre-stage, games were certainly a major part of the presentation and appear to be a significant part of the offering on the new device; yet even with the new system now unveiled, significant questions about Apple’s TV strategy remain, and the firm’s relationship with videogames and their creators remains uneasy and awkward.

There are two questions that matter to a game developer when it comes to a new platform; can it play games, and will there be a decent market. The first of those questions was answered at yesterday’s event, more or less. The new Apple TV is based on the A8 chip which powers the current generation of iPhones, and it’s actually something of an upgrade over those devices, as it sports 2GB of RAM (as is also the case in the new iPhone 6S models). That means it’s more than capable of running some pretty graphically impressive games, perhaps even some titles that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the PS3 or Xbox 360.

There are two very severe limits on the potential for that kind of “console-AAA” style game on the Apple TV, though. The first is that apps on the system are limited to 200mb in size; they can access assets much larger than that, but must be prepared to stream them over the Internet, as they are not allocated any asset storage space on the system (which has only 32GB of storage in total, or 64GB on the larger version; this is very much a streaming box). That’s a sufficiently strict limit to have some developers rolling their eyes and declaring the device uninteresting as a game system, but others are no doubt thinking hard about what kind of experiences are possible within that limit. It’s worth noting just how rich and complex some browser-based games, which operate within much stricter limitations, can be. 200MB size plus streamed assets is a tough challenge, but not insurmountable; it needs to be considered alongside the arguably tougher challenge of figuring out what people are actually going to want to play on this device.

Which leads us to the second limitation – how, physically, people are going to play games on Apple TV. The system is controlled, as expected, with a new remote that has few physical buttons but sports a very sensitive trackpad, a motion sensing chip and a microphone. There are certainly some interesting things you could do to control a game with that – although I don’t doubt the skeptical mind which says that the first thing that’s going to happen is a clone of every piece of Wii shovelware ever released – but it does almost entirely preclude simple porting of retro classics, and even of many indie titles. Creators are going to have think hard about how their game will work with that control setup, which may be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the results of their cogitation.

There are other control options; almost every report on the device has pointed out that it works with any MFi compliant Bluetooth game pad, but this feels like little more than an exercise in specification box-ticking. No developer can release a game that relies upon these gamepads, because realistically, the kind of consumer who is willing to buy a gamepad and keep it in his living room in order to play games on his TV is exactly the kind of consumer who buys an actual games console. The old adage that standalone peripherals for game consoles are not worth developing games for holds equally true in this brave new world; games on Apple TV will live or die by how well people can make them work with the bundled remote, regardless of what third-party controllers may or may not be on the market. Of more interest, I think, is the potential for controlling games on the Apple TV using iPhones as controllers; I’m not sold on the idea of an iPhone as a gamepad, but given the ubiquity of iPhones (and perhaps even the potential for companion apps on Android, which may or may not be technically possible), multiplayer games in which each player has a “personal screen” as well as a view of the “main shared screen” have some serious potential.

Despite these limitations, what Apple announced was interesting, as expected; it’s arguably the best of the streaming boxes on the market (though it is a little pricey) and certainly the one with the most potential for success as a games platform. Before it succeeds as a games platform, though, Apple needs to ensure its success as a TV platform – and on this front, the company disappointed somewhat. The company is already well out in front of the competition in terms of streaming boxes; the previous Apple TV was the market leader by a huge margin, and this device will no doubt extend that success. The problem for developers is that the market which Apple TV leads is not an entirely impressive one. Certainly, more of our media than ever before is being consumer through streaming devices, but almost any device can stream music and movies; Apple TV may do it more slickly than some others, but for the vast majority of consumers, the solution they have right now probably works fine. Although tvOS (a tasteful and well-designed reskin of iOS) looks nice and the ability to run apps will intrigue some people, the burning question of why a critical mass of consumers would choose to buy something like an Apple TV remains unanswered.

Answers may be forthcoming later. The self-same rumour mills which so deftly predicted the general shape of the Apple TV announcement also suggest that Apple is set to make further announcements about its TV strategy over the coming months; that the company had hoped to announce the Apple TV box alongside a comprehensive and deeply disruptive streaming TV service which would give the firm top billing among the options for US consumers opting to “cut the cable” and subsist entirely on streamed media. There’s also talk of Apple copying Netflix and Amazon by getting into the funding of original content creation – a move which makes even more sense when you consider that the company has for years been buying up an impressive library of independent movies for iTunes. Should those ventures come to pass, and Apple TV sales soar as a consequence, the device will become very, very hard for game developers to ignore.

One can only hope, should that be the case, that Apple will also find game developers hard to ignore. The company has often been accused of being “snobby” about games, as though their presence on its devices is to be tolerated but not celebrated; this is absolutely an attitude which has changed hugely in recent years, but one can’t help but look at the game-unfriendly aspects of the Apple TV outlined above and wonder if the upper echelons of the company have really come that far. The firm’s management are no doubt aware of just how important games are to the iOS ecosystem, and to their credit they have built very impressive GPU power into their chipsets over the years; but compared to the love-in the company has with the music, movie and TV industries, their engagement with games feels brusque and disconnected. This won’t matter terribly in the long run; if Apple TV is an enormous success, games will go there as a matter of course, but there’s a lot to be said from Apple’s point of view for the device getting some big, eye-catching games that fit its audience profile early in its lifetime, and one would hope that the slightly afterthought-like nature of its public engagement with games does not imply that encouragement of the development of those titles is not going on behind the scenes.

Before any of that becomes truly relevant, though, Apple TV needs to be a major success. The device is interesting and has clearly created some buzz with users who are, not unreasonably, sick of the poor interfaces most TV devices presently sport; but with Apple’s own service (and perhaps content) offerings seemingly delayed, this feels right now like a device without a killer app. Developers will undoubtedly be keen to get their teeth into it, but it may be next year before we find out if Apple TV is a straight-up success – or if Apple, and its prodigious wallet, is going to have to get out and push.

Courtesy-GI.biz

Apple TV Live Service Delayed By Another Year

August 17, 2015 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc will push back rolling out its live TV service to at least next year, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the iPhone maker’s plans.

The company had planned to introduce the service, which is delivered over the Internet, this year.

Discussions with broadcasters such as CBS Corp and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc to license programming are progressing slowly, and lack of content has led Apple to scrap plans to announce the service at a Sept. 9 event, Bloomberg said.

Apple also lacked the computer network capacity to ensure a good viewing experience, Bloomberg said.

The company still plans to introduce a more powerful version of its Apple TV set-top box at the event, which will be held in San Francisco.

Apple was aiming to price the new service at about $30 to $40 a month, media reports have said.

 

Apple Holding Discussions With Broadcasters To Launch TV Service

March 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Apple Inc’s frequently mentioned TV service may soon become a reality as the iPhone maker is having discussions with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper said.

Apple has been talking to Walt Disney Co, CBS Corp, and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc and other media companies to offer a “skinny” bundle with well-known channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, leaving out the many smaller networks in the standard cable TV package, the Journal said.

Apple, which is aiming to price the new service at about $30 to $40 a month, plans to announce the service in June and launch it in September, the newspaper said.

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the company does not comment on rumor and speculation. Fox and CBS declined to comment.

Several media companies are considering joining streaming-only services, or launching their own like HBO and CBS, to attract young people who do not subscribe to traditional pay TV packages. But programmers also fear the packages could become so popular that they undercut current, more profitable deals with cable companies.

In January, Dish Network Corp unveiled its long-anticipated video streaming service, named Sling TV, targeted at younger consumers who shun pricey cable and satellite subscriptions.

 

HBO Streaming Service To Launch On Apple Devices In April

March 11, 2015 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

HBO’s standalone streaming service will launch on Apple Inc devices in April, ahead of the season premiere of hit series “Game of Thrones,” the network said, a move to reach millions of viewers who do not subscribe to pay television packages.

The new HBO Now service will cost $14.99 a month. It will include the network’s past, present and future series plus its lineup of Hollywood movies, HBO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler said at an Apple event in San Francisco.

It is the first time the premium network will be available to people with Internet access who shun traditional TV bundles with dozens of channels. Other media companies including CBS Corp and Dish Network Corp also are taking steps to reach those audiences.

“This is a transformative moment for HBO,” Plepler said after an introduction by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The move by Time Warner Inc’s HBO could threaten the video businesses of cable and satellite companies, which are fighting to keep customers from dropping their TV packages. It also amps up competition with streaming services such as Netflix Inc. HBO’s library of hits includes “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”

Starting in early April, HBO Now will be available through the Apple TV box and on iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch. The fifth season of “Game of Thrones” premieres April 12.

Apple will be the exclusive digital provider of HBO Now for three months. The network also is aiming to convince traditional TV distributors to offer the service as early as April.

 

 

 

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