I heard some great news last week. Apple is planning to offer a new Web TV Streaming Service this fall which will have a small bundle of about 25 channels.
Over the last few years we’ve seen online streaming services like Hulu and Netflix growing in popularity. The ability to enjoy quality television programming at a significantly discounted rate has led many people to ditch the traditional cable packages which are typically upwards of $90 a month.
Consumers have shown that they don’t need 200 channels to be happy. In fact, most who ditched cable were probably just happy to not have to deal with the notorious customer service of many cable companies.
While streaming services have gained popularity, though, most are not able to offer local, specialty or time sensitive programming like sporting events. If you gave up cable, you had to accept that you’d only be able to watch shows like NCIS or The Bachelor either the day after they premiered or wait until all of last season came out on Netflix.
Oh, you want to watch Game of Thrones or Girls from HBO? Forget about it. You want to watch your favorite team play on ESPN? You better head on down to Taco Mac, and hope there aren’t any other big sporting events coming on that day.
Now we’re starting to see a solution come to the market for those who aren’t ready to cut the cable cord, but who also don’t need STARS 2545.
As usual, Apple isn’t first to market with the idea of providing a standalone streaming service. Dish recently announced a new product called Sling which offers a limited number of channels, and CBS told us in 2014 that we would soon be able to enjoy their content without signing a cumbersome contract with a cable company.
Based on the past performance of Apple, though, I would expect this to be a high quality offering and a top contender in this new market. We know they are in discussion with big players like CBS, ABC and Fox. They’re also in talks with Disney, which means it’s very likely ESPN will be included as well (Disney owns ABC and ESPN).
Just a few weeks ago we also learned that Apple TV would be the exclusive provider for HBO Now, a standalone subscription for HBO. If Apple bundles HBO into their new offering, what else can you ask for?
One notable group that is not included in these talks, though, is NBCUniversal. Unfortunately, Apple and Comcast (NBCUniversal’s parent company) had a falling out last year, so relations between the two are strained at the moment.
I’m pretty sure I’ll survive not watching The Voice Season 55 with Christina Aguilera, though, or any new “Housewives of” shows.
The price range of Apple TV is said to be somewhere around $30 – $40 a month. Compared with the average rates for cable these days, Americans who switch to this service are looking to save a huge amount of money. There has been some debate on the amount we’ll save since many people will still need to pay for internet access through these jilted cable companies. However, with Google Fiber making its way into the Atlanta market, I think we’ll all be just fine here.
Throw in ShowTime, a few more options for sports and voila! No more need for the full scale diamond crusted palladium package from Comcast for a zillion dollars a month with a zillion channels you’ll never watch.
This, my friends, is the future of consuming TV, and I for one love it!
Tweet me at @WesMoss365 to tell me which channels you hope Apple will include.
Certified financial planner Wes Moss offers financial and accessible investment advice to Atlanta Bargain Hunter readers.