Apple may be trying to launch a $30/month subscription TV service that would provide unlimited on-demand access to its video iTunes service. The All Things Digital Media Matters blog reports that Apple is pitching the idea to TV networks. Apple currently offers thousands of TV shows and movies at its iTunes store, some of which are in HD. By offering a subscription model, Apple is teeing up a legitimate alternative to traditional subscription pay TV models offered by cable, IPTV, and DBS providers.
With over 65 million iTunes users, Apple could become a serious force in the pay TV market, should these discussions lead to an actual product. Apple has stumbled a little with its Apple TV service, but this new approach would be available to any user who has iTunes, not just Apple TV subscribers. Apple’s impact on the music business is undeniable. With this new move, they could attempt to have a similar impact on the video business, although it’s still very early.
This new revelation, along with cable’s TV Everywhere initiative, and rumors that Hulu may be moving to a paid model illustrate just how much we don’t know about how Internet delivered video will shape up. Safe to say though, the Internet as a video distribution model is evolving rapidly, and while we can’t predict specific outcomes, we can predict it will reshape (not eliminate) the pay TV model in a profound way.