Recently, Apple TV has added quite a few high profile channels. Just yesterday NFL Now was introduced. Before that was Fox Now, Watch ESPN, Watch ABC, Watch ABC News, History, A&E, HBO Go, PBS, Lifetime, Smithsonian and much more. Apple TV has become very popular with consumers but also with networks.
However, Apple TV is being positioned as a secondary TV device. Most of these channels offer some free content but in order to watch all the content, an ID from a cable or satellite provider is required. Instead of Apple TV being a device that lets consumers “cut the cord”, Apple TV is enhancing the value (and need) of cable and satellite subscriptions.
However Netflix and Hulu Plus bunk this trend by allowing all their content to be accessed by subscribing directly to their service — whether or not you have another TV subscription service. The question is why others have decided not to follow this model and instead leverage cable/satellite subscriptions? If more channels would follow the Netflix model — or at least offer it as an option — then it would not only expand the universe of potential customers for each network, it would make cutting the cord on cable much easier.
Only paying for what you want is always better than paying more for excess that you never use. If only some of Apple TV’s channels would get this concept, they could lead the way to building direct growth and loyalty to their network instead of hoping cable and satellite companies properly promote and expand their market share.
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