Apple Looking at Ad-Skipping TV

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An Apple a day might keep the commercials away. 

After years of rumors of all sorts of newfangled products supposedly in development to take over the living rooms, there’s fresh scuttlebutt that Apple is in discussions to create a service that would allow viewers to engage in ad-skipping.

And here’s the grabber: Apple would supposedly pay the TV networks for the ad revenue they missed out on due to to the skipped commercials.

Variety writes that the particulars are few and far in between, but Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior veep Eddy Cue apparently made the rounds at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley last week talking up the new technology to various entities in the TV business. How much consumers would pay for such a product is uknown.

Such a new technology would put a fresh spin on DVR, which has been a sore spot in the TV industry for the past decade. Few companies besides Apple would have pockets deep enough to compensate an entire industry for lost ad dollars.

While TV networks might not mind Apple chipping in to cover the cost of skipped ads, that’s a product that may not sit well with those on Madison Avenue who need the medium to promote their products to the tune of about $70 billion per year.

Where exactly this fits into Apple’s amorphous plans in the TV space is entirely unclear. While Cook has clearly established that cracking the TV market is a more pressing priority than it was for predecessor Steve Jobs, just what shape that invasion could take is anybody’s guess (and plenty of analysts do just that). The new ad-skipping technology could be part of some yet-to-be-revealed set-top box or screen Apple has yet to reveal to the marketplace.

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