Posts tagged apple

Fox and FX shows have been removed from the iTunes store

In a dispute which may have something to do with network branding, FOX and FX shows have been (temporarily I hope) removed from the iTunes store. 

Kurt Sutter, producer of Sons of Anarchy, had this to say before he took the blogpost down:

The truth is, Apple will be the one hurt the most.  We all know how insanely dedicated SOA fans are.  It they want to see the episode they WILL FIND IT by any means necessary.   
If you want to do the right thing and watch it legally, just go to AMAZON here: SOVEREIGN 501.
Spread the word, pull the apple out of your ass.

Strong words, which were later deleted, and then found thanks to the magic of google’s cache. I agree with Kurt that networks need to be able to brand their shows, and drive back to linear TV wherever possible. But then again, if a product has been purchased, isn’t the customer entitled to a logo-free experience? Discuss. (Not with me, amongst each other).

The Sad State of TV?

A piece over at Gigaom laments the “Sad state of TV”.

But the sad truth is that even winning a contract like this would be a defeat for Apple. The company originally set out to disrupt the TV space and sell programming directly to consumers. It wanted to unbundle cable much in the same way it unbundled the CD when it started selling single songs on iTunes for $0.99. 

Although there is a lot of truth in the article, I feel there is a silver lining to all this. Contracts and rights are being amended as we speak to allow a more flexible future, and the small steps taken by the industry over the next few years will eventually lead to major change.

If you can’t beat them… Apple in talks with cable operators

In what is very average sounding news, Wall Street Journal are reporting that Apple are now in talks with cable operators to work with them in delivering their TV experience. The same cable operators that I can imagine are very reluctant to give up any control of their monopolies.

I really don’t think Apple need to do this. The only things stopping Americans from cutting their cable subscriptions are 1. 24 hour news channels 2. sport and 3. HBO.

1. With a member of Apples board being the largest shareholder in Walt Disney Corp, it shouldn’t be too hard to do a deal to stream ESPN over Apple TV.

2. Now that NBC have purchased the “MS” part of that venture, Apple could approach them about a new distribution platform that could help them catch up with an ailing CNN.

3. As for HBO, Apple should throw as much money as it takes to turn their heads into providing HBO Go without cable authentication solely for Apple TV.

With those 3 steps, season passes (episodes available same time as linear transmission) and cloud storage, that is truly thinking different.

Ari Emanuel at D10, discussing the current economics of the TV industry. If you have an interest or a view on the future of TV, this is a must watch.

It’s the 2nd time I have heard a senior industry exec say that it doesn’t matter what TV will be like in 20 years, as they won’t be around. The storm is coming, and “Southern California” as Emanuel puts it, needs to adapt before their current model disappears from under them.

It’s also worth watching Ari Emanuel dismiss the concerns of The Verge’s Editor in Chief Joshua Topolsky in the Q&A near the end, if only to get an idea of how Hollywood are currently approaching TV piracy.

When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want.
Steve Jobs

At Last…

I just found out that Apple have started selling TV “Programmes” via iTunes on the UK store. Disney and Viacom seem to be the only providers at this time. It remains to be seen how often these shows are updated.

Sony Pictures Television on iTunes

Apparently this happened a few days ago, but I wasn’t to know so I’m telling you now. Sony pictures Television have joined the iTunes party, just in time for the release into the wild of Apple TV.

If you have a US account you can now get Rules of Engagement (which I’m sure was available anyway through the CBS bit) and Til Death, or classics like Starsky and HutchCharlie’s Angels or the original animated Spiderman cartoon. There are other shows, but I’ve …er… run out of ink? Click here for Sony goodness. I wonder if they will start selling Seinfeld, if only the really old ones. Now theres a cash cow if ever I came across one.

TV is Doomed…

… in its current form. Had you worried there for a minute didn’t I? So says Outgoing Microsoft chief cheese Bill Gates, but more tellingly, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for Youtube.

Two entities with differing agendas offering up the same opinion. One of the key quotes from the Bill Gates article is actually a statement from Reuters, I don’t know where their research came from.

The rise of high-speed Internet and the popularity of video sites like Google Inc.’s YouTube has already led to a worldwide decline in the number hours spent by young people in front of a TV set.

In the years ahead, more and more viewers will hanker after the flexibility offered by online video and abandon conventional broadcast television, with its fixed program slots and advertisements that interrupt shows, Gates said.

So thats it. Bill Gate backs up what I’ve been saying for a long time. I always knew he plaigarised my work. Even when I doubted myself, I knew. More interesting stats from the research by Harris interactive, including people giving up spending time with friends and family to watch Youtube videos. wow. Do it, but don’t admit it!

Of the frequent YouTube users, 66 percent claim they are sacrificing other activities when on YouTube, including other websites (36 percent), time spent watching TV (32 percent), email and other online social networking (20 percent), work/homework (19 percent), playing video games (15 percent), watching DVDs (12 percent) and even spending time with friends and family in person (12 percent).

My thoughts on the matter are, as always, that somebody needs to definitively move the internet experience into the living room for even the dumbest human being to put together. That means no set-top box, no wireless bridge, no streaming slingbox. No PC on in one room just to watch TV in another. I’m talking TV’s with wi-fi built in. Who is with me??? Can ya dig it! No? fine, stick with a satellite dish on the side of your house. Read the full results of the survey here. But Click here for Bill’s wise words.

How much would you pay?

So Apple unveiled the fifth generation ipod, and it supports video playback. They also signed a deal with ABC (Disney, Touchstone, whatever) and are selling their TV shows on itunes.

For those who don’t know you can now buy Lost, Desperate Housewives or Nightstalker just hours after they air for $1.99. Good value, no? But it was just on TV for free, I hear you cry.

So I put it to you, bearing in mind that with the advent of bittorrent, DVD boxsets, Digital Terrestrial and Sky +/Tivo becoming the norm all over the developed world and the current model of ad-supported TV fast becoming obsolete as a means of making money from a program, how much are you willing to pay to see/own your favourite TV show, minus adverts and bugs (onscreen graphics)?