Apple May Share Viewer Data with Networks to Land TV Content Deals

Apple is reportedly willing to share viewer data with content providers to swing the deals it needs to launch its streaming television content this fall. If true, that marks a big departure from Apple's historic refusal to give up any private information about its customers.

Apple may be willing to share our information with networks for content dealsApple may be willing to share our information with networks for content deals

Word of Apple's apparent privacy policy change came via anonymous sources speaking with the New York Post. They said Apple is also willing to give content providers more control over how their shows are presented, such as whether or not commercials will be aired. One source said, "They're allowing a lot more decision-making by the content owner."

A report earlier this week claimed Apple is working on putting together its own Internet-based streaming network as an alternative to content packages offered by cable providers such as Comcast. Apple is targeting this fall for its launch on Apple TV, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

ABC, CBS, Fox, and Walt Disney are among the companies said to be participating in the negotiations, and Apple hopes to launch its service with about 25 channels. Reports claim Apple's offering will cost between US$30 and $40 a month, and will include live broadcast content as well as libraries of previously aired shows.

Getting customer data from Apple could be a big incentive for networks to sign deals, and those deals will help the company establish a foothold in the TV content market.

Apple hasn't commented on the rumored talks, but launching its own streaming network seems like a natural progression for Apple TV. Assuming Apple does agree to give up some user data to networks, we can only hope there's an opt-out option available, too.

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