Apple's push into subscription TV--a tough sell

Company is reportedly talking with CBS and Disney to sell TV programming via a subscription model, but the venture could face an uphill battle.

Apple is in talks with CBS and Disney to offer television programming using a subscription model, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday but suggested that the venture could face a pretty steep uphill battle.

There's an understatement.

Apple has been incredibly successful with iTunes. It's almost become bad business to not play ball with Apple. But at this point, things are also very different. Consider the following:

• Hollywood has become more tech savvy.

• iTunes largely still uses a pay-per-view model.

• Limited subscriptions offer limited value.

• It's the content, not the network.

• But don't underestimate the network.

Disclosure: ZDNet is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.

Read more of "Apple's push into subscription TV: Why it will be a tough sell" at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

About the author

    Sam Diaz is a senior editor at ZDNet. He has been a technology and business blogger, reporter and editor at the Washington Post, San Jose Mercury News, and Fresno Bee for more than 18 years.

     

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