updated 11:00 am EDT, Wed August 3, 2011
Company thought to have wide set of industry deals
Apple may be on the verge of rolling out a video subscription service, says Jeffries analyst Peter Misek. "As part of Apple's roll-out of cloud video services (and eventually an iTV)," he writes in a memo, "we believe Apple has unannounced deals with all/most of the studios/TV networks that are similar to the subscription streaming deal between Amazon and CBS." Business Insider remarks that during last night's CBS earnings call, CEO Les Moonves is quoted as saying "We hear about Apple wanting to buy content, and Google. Et cetera, et cetera. And Microsoft."
On Apple's most recent quarterly results call, CFO Peter Oppenheimer promised "some neat stuff coming" for iTunes movies and TV shows. Both Misek and Oppenheimer may be referring to iTunes Replay. The service is currently rumored to support multiple downloads of videos, and/or streaming on iOS devices and the desktop.
Apple may have strong incentive to launch subscriptions. Video on the iTunes Store has not enjoyed the same success as music or apps, likely because of problems with cost, permanent access and format compatibility. While Apple will probably continue to use DRM-locked video files, subscriptions and redownloading could alleviate some issues.