Whenever Apple does have its streaming TV service (which I've dubbed Apple Web TV) ready to launch, it won't be too soon. New data from Parks Associates finds that ten percent of U.S. broadband households are "cord cutters," with one-fourth of them having canceled their pay-TV service in the past 12 months and instead using online video sources.
What's more, seven percent of U.S. broadband households are recent "cord shavers," those who have downgraded their pay-TV service within the past 12 months and use online video sources. "Cord nevers," consumers who have never subscribed to a pay-TV service but do use online video sources, represent three percent of broadband households.
The Wall Street Journal says that Apple is in talks with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks that will be available on Apple gadgets such as the Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. The service will reportedly have about 25 channels and cost between US$30 and $40 per month. Once hoping for a fall launch, Apple is now looking to bring its Web TV service to market in 2016, according to Bloomberg. If this is true, the timing could be perfect.
"Although pay-TV adoption rates have held fairly steady over the past four years, the video industry is highly sensitive to these groups of consumers," says Brett Sappinton, director of Research, Parks Associates. "Cord cutters, shavers, and nevers represent both the risk and opportunity facing the industry today. As viewing evolves, companies want to be sure that they are in a position to react to trends and adequately capture revenues. The massive influx of new OTT [over-the-top] video services in 2015 is one example of video market players making moves to prepare for the new future of video entertainment."
Apple’s Web TV offering will reportedly be anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, but won’t include smaller channels typically included in a standard cable TV package. If the WSJ is right, Apple’s new service may have one channel that may have folks who’ve been hesitant to cancel their cable or satellite service doing just that. The station: ESPN. Disney and Viacom are also reported to be in discussions for inclusion in the Apple Web TV service.