Technophobes Beware: TV Unbundled, Apple, Twitter

Is unbundled television finally here? With the growing trend of television consumption online, HBO and CBS have recently announced moves to offer content free of traditional bundle services.

CBS-All-AccessYesterday (Oct. 16), CBS launched a digital subscription for its Nielsen-measured live streaming service and video on demand, available at cbs.com or the CBS App on iOS and Android. At launch, CBS All Access will offer thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, in addition to local CBS-TV stations live from 14 of the largest U.S. markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, with more to be added.

Non-subscribers will continue to have access to the most recent current episodes of CBS programming on CBS.com, select CBS Audience Network partner sites and the CBS App. Programming will be available the day after the shows air on TV, with an eight-day delay on mobile devices for primetime series only.

HBOOn Wednesday (Oct. 15), HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced during the Time Warner Investor Meeting that the company will offer a stand-alone HBO streaming service in the U.S. for 2015.

Citing growth opportunities inside the pay-TV universe, Plepler noted of the ten million broadband-only homes, “That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.”

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Apple-iPad-PricesYesterday (Oct. 16), Apple unveiled new iPads, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3, to be available Friday, Oct. 24. New are the fingerprint sensors that already appear on the iPhone 5s and 6-series, most models are slimmer, faster, featuring better cameras and available in gold.

Finger sensors will enable in-app purchases on more devices with Apple Pay, which was announced Sept. 9 and will become available Monday (Oct. 20) alongside the first upgrade of iOS 8.

OS X Yosemite, new desktop operating system, has become available immediately. Corresponding hardware updates include a thinner, Retina Display iMac and upgraded Mac Mini. For developers, the software tool kit for the Apple Watch is expected next month, with hardware released early next year.

Apple shares fell 1.3 percent after the announcement, closing at $96.26.

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twitterTwitter has announced a new in-app music streaming service with help from SoundCloud, called Audio Card, allowing users to listen to audio in Android or iOS timelines while continuing to browse in the app. Additional partnerships, like that with SoundCloud, are expected to be available in the future.

This comes after last year’s failed attempt with Twitter’s #Music app, which was aimed at harnessing artist and track conversations for music discovery. Kevin Thau, then responsible for the creation of Twitter Music, departed Twitter less than one week after the app’s 2013 launch.

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. eparker@musicrow.com | @EricTParker

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