According to a report from a former Wall Street Journal editor/reporter, Jessica Lessin, Apple is considering a “premium” service, allowing and encouraging commercial-skipping. But it would do so with the approval of TV networks. Are you listening to this, Dish Network executives?
What hasn’t been said is what this would mean to consumers. Perhaps higher cost? More interesting is what would it mean for brands to be part of a “premium” TV service -- one that would incentivize the whole idea of commercial-skipping.
What isn’t said it whether all this might include a different kind of sell to advertisers. Maybe TV would allow some sponsorship, branding or product placement opportunities for this kind of service -- but no actual commercials.
Under Apple, there might be two TV services -- one basic Apple TV effort where advertising messaging isn’t entirely encouraged (or prohibited), and a second one, a premium Apple TV service that fully permits commercial skipping. So those regular $30 or $40 cost per thousand viewers that brands currently spend on network prime time might now have a different price tag that allows other promotional/advertising activities.
Then again, perhaps Apple is thinking about a pure-premium TV channel like HBO or Showtime -- which would seem in Apple’s wheelhouse, especially how it initially started up iTunes years ago, selling TV shows with no commercials.
Give Apple credit. Trying to re-invent the wheel -- to revolutionize media industries -- has been its ultimate goal. While there has been some success, other efforts, like the original and current versions of Apple TV, had more modest results.
Unfortunately for Apple, there is a domino effect when trying to solve the ad-skipping problem. Giving TV networks what they want means not giving to others in the TV ecosystem -- like brand marketers (more commercial avoidance, increased inefficiency) and TV consumers (higher cost, possible restrictions).
Remaking the TV ecosystem is tough to do when there is already lots of traffic moving at high speed.