14 votes

Apple confirms March 25th event, expected to announce new TV service

5 comments

  1. [5]
    emdash Link
    I can't say, even as deep as I am in the Apple ecosystem, that a Netflix-completing streaming TV service like what I'm imagining is something that will personally appeal to me. I already heavily...

    I can't say, even as deep as I am in the Apple ecosystem, that a Netflix-completing streaming TV service like what I'm imagining is something that will personally appeal to me. I already heavily suffer from $10 subscription fatigue via Apple Music & all the other costs associated with staying connected in our digital world, and don't plan on adding to that pain anytime soon.

    The four problems that make TV & movie streaming services unviable for me tend to be:

    • Internet SLA. I don't always have reliable internet, although I usually do 98%+ of the time these days. But you know what has near 100% SLA? Hard disk drives. I will readily admit to pirating the shows and movies I'm interested in watching, and do actually archive all downloaded content for future rewatching. Which brings me onto point two:

    • Content SLA. Netflix & the tv/movie studios have shown they don't really have a commitment to continuously keeping shows online for future re-streaming. This is totally unacceptable to me, and probably the biggest blocker to any streaming service. It's already bad enough with Spotify & Apple Music occasionally removing & adding the ability to stream certain songs in certain countries.

    • Price creep. If there's one thing that's guaranteed, it's that as a company becomes more mainstream and grows, prices will rise as its dominance increases. We've seen this with Netflix already.

    • Tracking & Ads. I don't really care for big companies knowing even more about my consumption habits, although Apple is generally fairly good when it comes to this sort of thing.

    But, I have to stay open minded that Apple may surprise me here too. But they'll have an extremely hard time selling me on this.

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      UniquelyGeneric Link Parent
      It doesn’t help that the death of net neutrality means that you could also be throttled despite having an adequate connection. As long as the telecoms see Netflix as harming their content...

      Internet SLA

      It doesn’t help that the death of net neutrality means that you could also be throttled despite having an adequate connection. As long as the telecoms see Netflix as harming their content business, they will continue to pull this lever.

      Content SLA

      I don’t think enough people realize how much content has only been leased for a limited time to stopgap the TV networks ability to produce their own competing platform. Disney’s complete exit from Netflix, and their upcoming new streaming service will be the bellwether if this is sustainable in an a la carte media ecosystem.

      Price creep

      On the subject of a la carte options, I think people didn’t realize the greatest lie that was ever told about the Internet: that it was free. Video distribution isn’t cheap, and many of the cable bundles were subsidized by the introduction of ads. People seem to forget that HBO was a premium service most people did not have access to. With every media company losing money on their linear broadcast by the day, they are going to offset their losses by charging for content. With everyone pricing for their own service, we’re going to see consumers pick and choose what they can live without. Unfortunately this means further conglomeration and less niche content.

      Tracking and Ads

      There are certainly instances where people are going to pay for an ad free experience, but the majority of people will likely accept the trade off of ads for cheap/free content. As has been argued before, piracy is a problem with content availability, not price. The pirates will still exist, for sure, but even that comes with some cost baked in (time, hardware, Usenet subscription). The net outcome of this effect will be that only lower income viewers will see the most ads, making the battle for their attention/wallet the most contentious. This will probably have some knock-on effects about consumption habits and attention disorders, while simultaneously making those who are willing to pay more for Apple/privacy-focused services a privileged class that also avoids brain rot.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        emdash Link Parent
        Ha. Funny you mention that... I live in New Zealand, we've never had laws surrounding Net Neutrality—ever. We were just naïve enough to kind of assume our telecommunications providers would do the...

        It doesn’t help that the death of net neutrality means that you could also be throttled despite having an adequate connection

        Ha. Funny you mention that... I live in New Zealand, we've never had laws surrounding Net Neutrality—ever. We were just naïve enough to kind of assume our telecommunications providers would do the right thing.

        Well guess what—all the mobile data providers here exclude Facebook data from our extremely minimal data caps (4-8GB a month unless you want to pay an extortionate amount for unlimited[1] data, as if it's some kind of awesome positive). When in reality it just continues to propagate the network effect which entrenches already existing interests and makes it harder for small platforms to gain momentum.

        Furthermore, each one has their own shitty streaming services with limited content and egregious terms which you get given for "free" when you choose your mobile data plan. So generous of them. Oh, and Spotify Premium (half price, 24 months only, other terms apply).

        It's fucked over here.

        1. Up to 22GB before you're throttled, of course.

        5 votes
        1. json Link Parent
          Eh, I'm from NZ and don't see it so bleak.

          Eh, I'm from NZ and don't see it so bleak.

          1 vote
      2. frickindeal Link Parent
        I haven't paid for one of those in decades, and I'm a very avid pirate of mainstream television. I do it more because of the fact that I'm not often available for "appointment television" than...

        Usenet subscription

        I haven't paid for one of those in decades, and I'm a very avid pirate of mainstream television. I do it more because of the fact that I'm not often available for "appointment television" than just to pirate, and I'll watch the shows on my Apple TV if they're available, which always means ads. But I also pirate movies, generally after the BluRay release for quality's sake, mostly because I don't have anyone to go to the cinema with, and I rarely re-watch a movie unless it really impresses me, in which case I'll buy a hard copy and rip it to my Plex streambox.