Apple’s ambitions in the TV world have been the subject of plenty of speculation in the last year: it has its iTunes store to sell TV shows and films, plus its Apple TV set-top box, but growing rumours suggest Apple has bigger plans in store. Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin made waves yesterday with a story published on her own site claiming Apple is working on “technology that allows viewers to skip commercials and that pays media companies for the skipped views”. Not a new idea: YouTube has been doing it for some time for individual videos, but the subject of ad-skipping is much more sensitive in the broadcast TV world, even though the technology has been available there too with personal video recorders. Apple’s plans are thought to include the ability for Apple TV owners to watch live and on-demand television, with the ad-skipping restricted to a “premium” version of this service. “Apple wants to strike deals with cable companies like Time Warner Cable to allow cable subscribers to watch television using an Apple device as a set-top box and with a software interface designed by Apple,” claims Lessin. “But the company has also been talking to television networks, which sell cable companies rights to their content, about rights for the service and issues such as ad-skipping.”

Source: Jessica Lessin

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