Apple’s mythical, standalone TV set has been the subject of much speculation over the past several months. Rumors have been saying that we’ll see an Apple-branded TV set (dubbed ‘iTV’ in most cases) by the end of this year at the earliest. The TV is expected to feature Siri integration, IP-based streaming and even a gaming element.
On the streaming side of things, a new report claims that Apple has been in talks to secure the rights to stream Hollywood movies for its upcoming TV set.
According to Reuters:
Apple Inc began talks earlier this year to stream films owned by EPIX, which is backed by three major movie studios, on devices including a long-anticipated TV, according to two people with knowledge of the negotiations.
EPIX distributes movies from three key Hollywood studios, Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount. According to Reuters, EPIX’s $200 million/year agreement with Netflix has made it hard for Apple to secure streaming rights. Such licensing complications with other providers, like HBO, have made it difficult for Apple to make progress with its streaming plans so far.
One of the sources told Reuters that any discussions would apply to its set-top box and also to upcoming devices that stream content. Apple is widely expected to unveil a full-fledged TV product later this year or in early 2013 to drive its next phase of growth and potentially revolutionize the industry.
Apple is doing everything it can to transition its iTunes catalog towards the future of streaming media. Movies purchased through the iTunes Store were recently added to iCloud, making it possible for customers to download titles multiple times across devices. Some studios remain unable to provide their content for iCloud due to licensing conflicts, and Apple is said to be in talks over that issue as well.
Movie and TV show streaming would assumedly be integrated into the iTunes Store experience once Apple reaches agreements with studios.