CBS follows HBO in targeting cord-cutters with $5.99/month VOD service via app & web

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Just one day after HBO announced that it would be offering a web-only subscription at some point next year, CBS has played leap-frog by announcing the immediate availability of a $5.99/month web & app subscription offering on-demand access to almost all content.

CBS All Access will offer subscribers thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream local CBS Television stations live in 14 of the largest U.S. markets at launch.

CBS All Access is available beginning today at CBS.com and on mobile devices through the CBS App for iOS and Android.

Cable companies have long shied away from offering access to popular, current programming without demanding that you sign-up to cable access first. But broadcasters now seem to be recognizing that it isn’t just cord-cutting that threatens their existing models, it’s also ‘cord nevers’ – young people who simply aren’t signing up for cable subscriptions in the first place, preferring to get their TV fix online …  Read more

Hands-on with Aereo: $12 monthly broadcast TV with DVR live-streams in Safari for Mac and iOS

 

Lets talk about Aereo—the service that streams over-the-air local TV to any Mac, iOS device, or PC running Safari for $12 per month.

The decidedly McGyver tech behind this venture relies on fingertip-sized TV antennas in data centers that allow servers to live-stream channels with high-definition reception through a speedy Internet connection. Aereo also works with Apple TV via iTunes’ AirPlay and a source iOS device, and Roku-lovers can use the Aereo channel through set-top boxes. The service even flaunts 40 hours of DVR storage space and an HTML 5 experience. That’s right, no apps—nor cords, cables, and boxes. Hence the startup’s “It’s TV made simple” badge.

Aereo is currently an invite-only 90-day free trial to New York City residents. Oh, and the behind-the-scene gurus verify billing and IP addresses, so there is no fooling Aereo when requesting login credentials.

That’s enough with the basics; now time to spill the juicy details:

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CBS CEO Leslie Moonves again says he denied Steve Jobs access to TV programming for fear of disrupting revenue streams

Way back in November, CBS Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves told investors on an earnings call:

..the media company turned down a partnership with Apple for a streaming deal on the Apple TV. Moonves says that the deal was turned down because of the ad-split revenue that Apple was trying to reach an agreement over.

Fast forward to this weekend when the Hollywood Reporter caught up to Moonves at a FUCLA conference:

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said Saturday that he was approached about a year ago by Steve Jobs to provide content for Apple’s long-rumored television service but he declined to participate.

Moonves told a conference audience that he met with Jobs, the late Apple CEO, and heard a pitch for what was billed as a subscription content service, but ultimately he said he wasn’t interested in providing CBS shows or films to the venture.

“I told Steve, ‘You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,’ ” Moonves said, citing his concerns about providing content to a service that could disrupt CBS’ existing revenue streams. Moonves said Jobs, in characteristic fashion, strongly disagreed with his assessment.

Yeah, that is not much new, but the point is that CBS still is not going to be partnering with Apple any time soon.

However, streaming is pretty much dead anyway except for live TV, news, weather, and sports. Everything else worth watching is downloadable or already in a Hulu/Netflix/Amazon Cloud.

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CBS turned down Apple TV streaming agreement over ad split deal

During their earnings call this afternoon, CBS’s Les Moonves made comment (via GigaOm) that the media company turned down a partnership with Apple for a streaming deal on the Apple TV. Moonves says that the deal was turned down because of the ad-split revenue that Apple was trying to reach an agreement over.

It has been long rumored that Apple has been working on reaching subscription deals with media companies. In Steve Job’s official biography by Walter Isaacson, it was revealed that Steve Jobs “cracked the TV”. Today’s comments reveal that Apple is indeed going after media companies for agreements. But why?

These types of agreements will be implemented into the rumored “iTV” that is supposedly coming in 2012. From the D8 conference:

Then you get into another problem. Which is there isn’t a cable operator that is national. There is a bunch of cable providers. There isn’t like a GSM standard like with phones. Every country has different standards, different government approvals. It’s very balkanized. I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out. That’s why when we say Apple TV as a hobby we use this phrase.

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Jobs told biographer that he cracked the code to building an HDTV

The Washington Post details an interesting revelation from Steve Jobs to biographer Walter Isaacson prior to his death earlier this month.

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

That is particularly interesting when you consider that Apple has been rumored to be entering the TV business since the beginning of time. There has also been speculation that Apple’s Siri Voice control could play a big part in Apple’s HDTV venture.

Jobs’ passage could also relate to the current Apple TV model which Apple just makes the pass-through box, instead of Apple actually manufacturing the LCD TVs themselves. Obviously with iCloud only being released this month, there could be some Apple TV updates coming shortly.

Meanwhile, CBS posted another clip from the 60 Minutes interview with Isaacson in which Jobs himself reveals on tape the circumstances around meeting his biological father, below:

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60 Minutes preview with Walter Isaacson touches on cancer treatment

The blurb from CBS seems to eerily echo a Quora post by a Harvard Cancer Doctor Ramzi Anri that basically said that his cancer was mild and treatable but spread while he was trying to treat it holistically.

While Mr. Jobs was trying all sorts of alternative [medicine] his tumor grew, and grew, and grew…

… and then it somehow grew beyond control.

  • Jobs waited so long before seeking normal treatment that he had to undergo a Whipple procedure, losing his pancreas and whole duodenum in 2004. This was the first alarming sign that his disease had progressed beyond a compact primary to at least a tumor so large his Pancreas and duodenum could not be saved.
  • Jobs seemingly waited long enough for the disease revealed to have spread extensively to his liver. The only reason he’d have a transplant after a GEP-NET would be that the tumor invaded all major parts of the liver, which takes a considerable amount of time. Years, in most neuroendocrine tumors. It could be that this happened before his diagnosis, but the risk grows exponentially with time.
  • We then saw the tumor slowly draining the life out him. It was a horrible thing to see him lose weight and slowly turn into a skin and bones form of himself.

Yet it seems that even during this recurrent phase, Mr. Jobs opted to dedicate his time to Apple as the disease progressed, instead of opting for chemotherapy or any other conventional treatment.

Isaacson also seems to imply that it spread during that time and obviously in hindsight, Jobs was regretful for not choosing to operate on it sooner. Isaacson said,

“I’ve asked [Jobs why he didn’t get an operation then] and he said, ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened…I didn’t want to be violated in that way,'” Isaacson recalls. So he waited nine months, while his wife and others urged him to do it, before getting the operation, reveals Isaacson. Asked by Kroft how such an intelligent man could make such a seemingly stupid decision, Isaacson replies, “I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…we talked about this a lot,” he tells Kroft. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it….I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”

As Ryan Tate said,

In the end, may prove the most compelling reason to forgive the brilliant CEO his many faults: Of all the people who suffered on the dark side of his headstrong, iconoclastic decisionmaking, it was Jobs himself who appears to have paid the biggest price.

Jobs also told Isaacson:

Jobs had actually met the man who turned out to be his biological father before he knew who he was. He also talks about the discussion he had with Jobs about death and the afterlife, explaining that for Jobs, the odds of there being a God were 50-50, but that he thought about the existence of God much more once he was diagnosed with cancer. Another aspect of Jobs’ character revealed was his disdain for conspicuous consumption. He tells Isaacson in a taped conversation how he saw Apple staffers turn into “bizarro people” by the riches the Apple stock offering created. Isaacson says Jobs vowed never to let his wealth change him.

The full interview will air on Sunday.

Aerial footage of Steve Jobs Celebration (Video)

CBS copters, captured by CNET, caught some of the Celebrate Steve program today put on by Apple.  As we’d been tweeting live, Tim Cook, Bill Campbell and Al Gore spoke and Norah Jones and ColdPlay played music (ending with “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”).  Apple retail employees shut down Store operations from 12-3 ET to view a private screening of the event.

One of the touching moments was said to have been when they played Jobs’ rendition of “The Crazy Ones”, below:

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Steve Jobs Bio balloons to 656 pages, publication date gets murky

As noted by SetteB.it, the Steve Jobs bio “Enhanced eBook” is now set by Simon and Shuster at 656 pages. That’s over 200 additional pages more than the previous page count which may have been a very low estimate. Recently, Walter Isaacson said that Jobs’ resignation would be added to the book, but it seems like a stretch that that chapter would add 50% more content.

Also, the publication date has move from November 21st, to “on or around November 21st”, signaling that there may be some movement in the release date.

You can pre-order the book at Amazon or on Apple’s iBookStore where it still is listed at 448 pages.
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