TV sources say Apple executive Eddy Cue, who heads up the
company’s media efforts and is leading negotiations for the new
streaming service, has told them that Apple feels it should
concentrate on what it’s best at — creating consumer hardware and
software — and leave other tasks, like streaming infrastructure,
for people who specialize in it.
An alternative theory, suggested by someone involved in the
discussions: Apple thinks that if programmers are responsible for
handling their own streams, Internet providers like Comcast and
Verizon, who sell their own bundles of video programming, will be
less likely to penalize Apple’s service.
I’m not surprised that Apple is allowing networks to provide their own streams if they choose to. Many of them are great at it — MLB Advanced Media (which is providing the backend for HBO Now, among many other networks) and Netflix come to mind. But I’m a little surprised they aren’t offering to host the streams for smaller outfits, startup-sized “networks” — it’d be a way to make content exclusive to Apple’s devices without Apple actually producing its own content.