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Apple Plans Ad-Skipping TV Service: Report

Pitches Idea to MSOs, Programmers that Would Compensate Networks for Missed Ads 7/16/2013 9:28 AM Eastern

Apple has been talking to multichannel operators and programmers about a new premium TV service that would let users skip ads, but would compensate programmers.

Details on how the service -- from former Wall Street Journal reporter, Jessica Lessin would work are skimpy. Lessin described it as a “premium” service, which would indicate it might be subscription-based. That would fit in with Apple’s general approach towards video, which has avoided advertising based business models.

“Apple wants to strike deals with cable companies like Time Warner Cable to allow cable subscribers to watch television using an Apple device as a set-top box and with a software interface designed by Apple,” Lange wrote.

TV companies have been generally reluctant to embrace efforts by Apple, Google and other tech giants to expand into the TV landscape and it isn’t clear if they would go along with the idea even if they were compensated for skipped ads.

A premium TV services would also put Apple in direct competition with Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon and others in an increasingly competitive over-the-top landscape. Those services do not, however, offer access to live TV.

Nor is it clear if consumers would be willing to pay for the privilege of skipping ads, something they can already with a DVR, or in the case of Dish subscribers with the DBS service's controversial, Hopper function.

Potential subscribers also have access to a great deal of ad-supported content for free on demand. Increasingly, operators are offering live TV streams to consumers via TV Everywhere services, as part of their pay TV subscriptions.

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