New light has been shed on Apple's long-rumored efforts to launch a TV streaming service, and the struggles the company seems to have faced in doing so. Difficulties in securing deals for the service reportedly come down to the company's aggressive negotiating style, and what TV execs considered unrealistic demands.
From The Wall Street Journal:
In online TV, Apple wants to combine a selection of popular live channels with an on-demand library stockpiled with full seasons of hit shows. The streaming TV service pitched to Disney would have cost $30 a month.
Apple's roaring success and assertive negotiating style are kinks in that strategy. Media companies worry that agreeing to Apple's sweetheart terms could allow traditional cable-TV distributors to demand the same deal and make it harder to recoup their investments in original shows.
Apple, led in negotiations by Eddy Cue, apparently pressed on through stalled talks with the idea of a "skinny bundle," a collection of popular channels offered for a lower monthly rate.
Apple's Mr. Cue began pitching Disney, Fox, CBS and other media companies on the streaming-TV service. The goal was to attract consumers who have dumped their cable-TV supplier with 25 popular channels, anchored by the broadcast networks.
Part of the trouble comes from the fact that, while Apple's negotiating tactics worked well on a music industry that was facing the threat of piracy, the TV industry doesn't see itself as being in the same position. Many execs, therefore, feel like they can wait for more favorable terms.
In the meantime, Apple has started funding original content, though Cue has previously insisted that it's not the sign of a wider push into that arena, already occupied by the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Apple is helping to produce the will.i.am-hosted Planet of the Apps, and recently acquired the rights to a spinoff version of James Corden's popular Carpool Karaoke.