NBCUniversal announced Peacock, its video streaming service, in September of last year. And in January we learned all of the launch details, like how it would go live for all potential customers in July. But if you're a Comcast customer you've got a bit of an exception.
Carriers generally dislike Apple's stringent terms of business, but they rarely complain out of fear of losing access to the company's iconic smartphone. And now, a new report citing multiple unknown sources alleges that the Cupertino technology giant strong-armed cable companies into selling more iPads and Apple TVs in return for access to iPhone.
Slowly but surely, Disney has been increasing its ownership stake in Hulu and now has come to the point where it has full control of the video-streaming service through a deal with Comcast.
Hollywood is reportedly discussing ways to make the latest digital flicks from major studios available for purchase or renting as soon as two weeks following their theatrical debuts in order to make up for declining sales of DVDs in the age of Netflix.
Strong competition from the likes of Amazon and Comcast has halved Apple's market share when it comes to movie sales and rentals, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
The numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because, as the article states, no third parties track market share in the digital-movie business. While that makes exact figures impossible to obtain, Hollywood majors do different amounts of business with Apple and several of them have confirmed “a marked decline in iTunes’ leadership position.”
Sources said iTunes' market share for renting and selling movies has been falling for years, tumbling to between 20 percent and 35 percent from well over 50 percent as recently as 2012.
By comparison, Amazon's market share in that business has recently climbed to around 20 percent, studio executives said. As for Comcast, it now claims about 15 percent of the combined market for movie sales and purchases in the US.
Bernstein Research estimates that iTunes video, music, book and magazine sales in 2016 accounted for an estimated $4.1 billion in revenue, making it the second-largest services business behind App Store sales.
Apple says it's focused on providing users with premium entertainment via video apps on App Store. The company takes a fifteen percent cut on subscriptions sold via App Store.
An excerpt from the article:
An Apple spokeswoman, who didn’t dispute the market-share estimates, said Apple is focused on providing customers with video content across subscription services such as Netflix and HBO, as well as iTunes, where she said movie purchases and rentals have increased over the past year and hit their highest level in more than a decade.
It is no secret that video-subscription services are growing in popularity at the expense of on-demand rentals and movie purchases. Why pay five bucks or more to stream a single movie via iTunes in high definition if you can get a full Netflix or HBO NOW subscription for the price of a single movie download (new movie downloads are priced at $19.99 on iTunes)?
Movies, like music, are meant to be streamed no matter what Apple says about it.
Just like iTunes' market share for digital music purchases has been decreasing as part of the overall industry decline due to the rise of streaming services like Spotify, the same thing is now happening in the digital movie industry.
Apple has offered movies and TV shows on iTunes since 2003.
Apple has been trying for years to persuade Hollywood studios to let it build a so-called skinny bundle of the best channels from the likes of Disney, ESPN and others, to no avail.
Last year, total digital-movie sales and rentals rose a combined twelve percent to $5.3 billion in the US, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.
I've been catching up with AMC's The Walking Dead on my iPad because AMC didn't offer a dedicated Apple TV app until last week. As soon as the Apple TV app was made available, I tried logging in using the same Comcast Xfinity credentials I used on the iPad app, but to my surprise, Xfinity was not an option.
How could Xfinity be an option on the AMC app for iPad but not for Apple TV? Does it have anything to do with rights and what devices can be used to watch certain shows? Honestly, I have no idea, but as I complained about this issue on the latest episode of Let's Talk iOS, a listener was quick to email me with a simple workaround.
Evidence is mounting that Apple is working on advancing its $99 set-top box around a bunch of new features like downloadable apps and games, iOS 7 game controller support, streamable television channels and subscriptions, DVR and wireless AirPort router capabilities, cable box functionality and what not. Whether any of this pans out is up for debate.
That said, surely Apple won't be standing still as new entrants like Amazon enter the crowded living room space. Perhaps the most solid piece of evidence to date comes in a filing with the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) related to the planned Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger.
Hit the jump for more...
Apple's $99 media-steaming box last year raked in more than a cool $1 billion in combined hardware and related content sales, prompting CEO Tim Cook to argue during Apple's annual shareholders meeting that "it's a little more difficult to call the Apple TV a hobby these days."
The company is reportedly updating the Apple TV hardware sooner than later with refreshed internals, allegedly adding gaming functionality via an Apple TV App Store for downloadable games and a built-in TV tuner to control your existing cable boxes and TV stations.
On the other hand, Apple thus far has been unable to obtain content rights for an a-la-carte TV service due to licensing negotiations and other issues. A report by The Wall Street Journal last night now claims that Apple is negotiating with Comcast using its infrastructure for optimal delivery of a streaming service for the next-gen Apple TV...
Comcast customers will be happy to hear that the cable provider has launched a new app today, Xfinity TV Go, for iOS devices. It's actually a rebrand of the previous 'TV Play' app, with a number of new features.
The most important, though, is the ability to stream live television from your iPhone or iPad while on the go. That's right, as long as you are on a Wi-Fi network (not just the one in your home), you can watch TV...
Ending weeks of speculation, Twitter today announced a new feature that has the potential to take social television to the next level.
Twitter users will soon start seeing a new See It button embedded in tweets that, when clicked, lets folks immediately tune into live programming through their set-top box or a mobile devices such as a smartphone or a tablet.
To replace your remote, Twitter partnered with cable provider Comcast and its fully-owned subsidiary NBCUniversal, giving Xfinity customers the ability to also schedule DVR recordings on-the-fly, directly from Twitter. The feature will debut with NBCUniversal offerings including The Voice and Sunday Night Football.
Go past the fold for the full reveal...
Back in June, Comcast announced its new X2 set-top box—a DVR that uses cloud storage instead of a traditional hard drive. It isn't expected to launch until later this year, but the cable provider has just been caught testing a new iOS application that allows subscribers to access their saved programming from the cloud-based recorder.
The folks over at FierceCable spotted the app in iTunes this morning. It's called Comcast Labs DVR, and it's published by Comcast Interactive Media. The software promises a revolutionary new DVR that streams live TV and shares your recordings to tablets, phones, and all of your television sets—as long as you're behind a Comcast modem...
Apple's plans for the living room have rested largely on the Apple TV the company's leadership continues to call "a hobby project." While there's been talk that the tech giant could unveil its own television set, rumors of revamping the television experience have been greeted with industry concern and fruitless negotiations.
However, now comes word Apple wants to be friends with Time Warner, Disney and other content producers - and along the way improve some of the worst aspects of current television viewing.
One result of the partnerships is an upcoming Time Warner Cable Apple TV app that would turn Apple's $99 set-top box into a channel guide for live and on-demand programming much superior to the clunky software now offered by the distributor...