$30 a Month iTunes TV Show Subscriptions for iPhone... and iTablet?

MediaMemo is hearing that Apple Internet exec, Eddy Cue, has been tasked with exploring a $30/month iTunes TV Show subscription service:

A so-called “over the top” service could theoretically rival the ones most consumers already buy from cable TV operators — if Apple is able to get enough buy-in from broadcast and cable TV programmers.

Disney, with Steve Jobs its largest shareholder, pops up as among the first to potentially get on board.

Unlimited TV on your iPhone, Mac/PC, Apple TV, and maybe... iTablet with one monthly fee. You want?

(Re: iTablet, sure would make a nifty announcement to go along with the iTablet, like movie rentals did at Macworld 2008 for Apple TV Take 2....)

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • No.
  • Also have to go with no on this one. No way I would use it enough to be worth the price.
  • WiFi only or do we get to totally destroy AT&T's network?
  • Uh... the report mentions that this is not just for iPhone but for the entire iTunes ecosystem (computers, iPods, iPhones, and AppleTV).
  • this is an AWESOME price... one show can cost $30.00 for the season...
    I would do it...
    It is great for travelers...
  • that would be great
  • Nope, sling player would pay for itself in a couple of months
  • I would love this as then I don't have to transcode the movies myself.
  • Not only NO, but He1l No.
    I have a tv.
  • If all the networks joined in and you could watch as much as you want, new shows showed up at the same time it broadcast on cable. Doesn't sound bad if you want to get rid of cable, I watch most shows off my dvr.
  • Excellent plan. Would definitely sign up for this
  • I'd buy an Apple TV for this.
  • Only if it included movies. I buy iTunes TV shows, but I spend less than $30/mo on them. But between TV shows and movie rentals I probably do spend more than $30 (at least some months), but not that much more.
    I wonder if this is related to the mythical iTablet...
  • I would rather be able to take DVRd shows and load them onto my iPhone. I have AT&T U-verse, so there were rumors a while back that might be coming.
    Enough of the subscription based models. Already have phone, cell, Internet, cable, WSJ online, etc.
  • I might. For me it depends on if hulu would start charging next year and what they would be offering. If the price were near what apple would offer with the same amount of content, I would spring for apples model if it allowed you to watch on your iPhone or iPod
  • 30 a month plus an Apple TV could replace cable/satellite. Plus, no commercials and easily watched on different platforms(tv, computer or iphone). Sounds good to me. Lack of sports would be the Achilles heal, though....
  • I think $30 is a decent price. But, like sting7k, I just wouldn't use it often enough, myself.
    And how many months must one commit to... twelve? There's tons of TV shows on iTunes, but after one has seen everything of interest, then what?
    It would be nice if one is able to subscribe month-to-month.
  • I already spend way more with my iPhone than I do my computer or my tv...why not?
  • Hmmm I watch my tv on Hulu and that's free. Why not make a hulu app that let's me watch what I want on my phone and I'll be happy. AT&T has live tv on other phones and it's about $10 for the service so $30 is way overpriced.
  • Bring it. I may not sign on or use it all the time but I believe consumers should have choices.
  • Does it have commercials? I don't want to pay for commercials... If no commercials, then yeah I'll pay! 100% guaranteed. I'd even get an apple tv! Even with commercials I'd be willing to pay 20/mo.
  • No thanks. Mobile would be the primary access type for me, and AT&T can't even keep my voice calls connected while I'm standing still. (I am not making this up.)
  • I'd get in a heartbeat depending on how broad the selection is. Might even get an Apple TV at that point.
  • No way. What are the odds of Apple getting HBO and Showtime on board? They have the best TV shows. DVR and Sling is the way to go. And you couldn't justify the cost by dropping your cable/satellite cause there are just too many things you would lose. Whether its the YES network for Yankees or HBO or Fox Soccer Channel. My guess is almost everyone would have at least two channels that Apple TV would not have that they would not want to give up.
  • Really? You guys seriously buy that much crap on iTunes?
    Oh, you must be the ones that I DON'T see at the gym...
  • Oh come on. Everyone who said no needs to think about it. If they can get all their tv shows for 30$$ noone is going to pay 100 for cable.
  • @25, Nope I'm the guy you see staring at his iPhone while on the exercise bike, treadmill, or elliptical trainer (esp. during winter when exercising outside is miserable). The gym is actually the #1 reason why I buy or rent iTunes video content.
  • I would buy an Apple TV for this. I already pay $87/mnth for cable. With this I could reduce that bill to $33 and still get digital basic, the free HD channels and my one cheap movie theme pack for those times when I just want to watch whatever's on. Plus, I can take my tv anywhere on my phone and new MacBook Slate.
  • @Carjackulous:
    30 a month plus an Apple TV could replace cable/satellite.
    If you you watch is sitcoms and series, perhaps. But you would have to give up: All Sports All News All special events Most premium channels If None of those things appeal to you and you are happy watching on a tiny screen it might make sense. But the price is too high.
  • I use NetFlix watch instantly $8 plan and Hulu. Hard to beat that. Even at $30 a month.
  • @MattWeber-
    It's not just TV shows. There is no way Apple would get licensing done with NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, etc. and at that point, why pay an extra $30 when you can just watch your cable shows?
  • D'oh! Mixed up the images. Fixed and added iTablet angle...
  • I would sign up. In fact, I will probably get hate mail for this, but I would even pay more for an unlimited, all you can eat subscription plan that works with my Apple TV. The way I figure, I can cancel my cable to pay for it. It would be great for anybody unless you are hooked on local news or sports.
  • I'd buy an AppleTV for this too - if they get 1080i programs and update the AppleTV to support it. Then I could kill my cable, Slingbox and Tivo. If they support 1080p movies and include that in the subscription (even at an additional $10 monthly premium), then I'd ditch Netflix. If they could allow Slacker and Pandora on AppleTV, I'd ditch the Squeezebox too. Come on Apple - bring subscriptions and a big AppleTV hardware upgrade!
  • everyone, join me in prayer.
    I really really hope this happens. I'll kiss network tv/cable/sat goodbye forever.
    This and Netflix watch instantly would rule.
  • refurbed apple tv 40 gigs are 149 bucks on Apple.com
  • Nope. Price too high, would still have to get cable/IPTV for news/sports/live events.
    Worse, I assume Apple will eventually incorporate into their TV initiative some of the OS-level advertising features they have applied to patent (quoted from tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/yk47vts ):
    The operating system is configured to present one or more of the advertisements to users of the computer device. In some implementations, the operating system can disable one or more functions during the presentation of the advertisements and then enable the function(s) in response to the advertisements ending. That is, the operating system can disable some aspect of its operation to prompt the operator to pay attention to the advertisement.
    I currently think the AppleTV is an OK product, just not to my tastes. If/when Apple executes these patents, they will be approaching a level of consumer unfriendliness that even my cable company, as bad as they are, has not dreamed.
  • I'll buy that for a dollar.
  • This would be a really great cost-effective solution for young people who don't want to pay hundreds a month for 900 channels they don't watch.
    I only watch like, 5 channels. It'd be amazing to get those shows downloaded on my computer as soon as they are available for only $30..
  • Am I to assume the $30 a month also includes unlimited access to every episode, from every season, of every TV show past and present that's available in the iTunes Store... as well as live broadcast TV?
    If that's the case, is $30 still too much? I don't know about anyone else, but I sure don't have access to such a large library as that with Comcast.
  • For this much it should include movies and possibly even music then i would think about it
  • This opens up a huge can of worms. No doubt that something's up - in a good way for Apple shareholders that is.
  • Too soon to tell. I'd have to see what's offered. Usually Apple starts with a very limited group of shows/movies, and adds as they go. I'd wait at least a year for this one.
  • i want but 30 bucks is a little high for tv i already pay for. how about 10 bucks
  • @icebike why would you give up sports and news, they give HD channels away for free now. Yea, you will lose espn but I could miss a couple of games. I'm sure my wife would be ok with that one.
  • Haha, the #25 post, Joe McG, got owned by the #27 post, Dyvim. This is what happens when you try to act like you're better than somebody else people. It takes about 12 seconds for someone who IS better than you to put you in your place. Well don Dyvim. Joe McG, you're a douchebag.
  • It takes about 12 seconds for someone who IS better than you to put you in your place.
    And yet you end your post by calling someone names?
  • Throw in movies as well and you've got a deal!
  • yes, but only if it's compatible with my VCR!
  • You guys are ridiculous if you think 30 dollars is too much for renting any movie or tv show anytime. To rent a movie from the store is 5 bucks alone.
  • Yes, I would because I pay 80 bucks to Foxtel!!!
  • Rene, please - NO MORE JEFF ZUCKER! I'm tired of seeing his no talent, GE-hyped face on TV. Seeing it here only makes me ill. He was a good produce for Today. As a network head he's clueless. Weird Al did a better job of reviving a TV station in UHF than Zucker is at NBC.
  • Does this include porn? Then yes. If not then no.
  • The only people who really don't need this are, Sports nuts and News junkies. I don't watch either. To anyone saying that HBO wouldn't go along (cough) they already have. An episode of Entourage on my Jesus Phone is $1.99, the same price for cable show 30 rock.
    Offering this service will not effect people who want to stay tied to their couch.
    Internet, TV, Camera, Music, Phone, Game System, should be on demand, all the time, in the palm of my hand.
  • It's funny that people get on here and say it costs too much. If this article was about cable and stated "comcast is looking to release cable service that allows you to watch duplicate channels and repeats for 80 bucks a month" people would throw a fit and say hell no yet most of the people out there saying no to this HAVE CABLE. Wake up and see the cable company rip off!!!! Whether Apple gets this right the first time or not it's the future people. I for one don't wanna pay cable every month just to have the freedom to "channel surf".
  • Absolutley, I have the most basic, cheapest, Directv and it's still over $60 per month. Some people pay much more than that. If what Apple is offering is unlimited downloads for any show for $30.month, I'd drop directv in a heartbeat, so what if you have to wait a measly 1 day to watch your shows. With directv or cable, if you set your DVR to record your shows, it is usually the next day before get around to watching it anyway. It would be well worth it to me.