Apple's TV boss isn't a 'big fan' of internet TV packages

Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue is Apple’s most “Hollywood” executive.

He spends five to six days in Los Angeles per month, checking in on Apple’s music office there, and taking meetings with Hollywood dealmakers.

In a Hollywood Reporter interview published on Thursday, Cue talks about about what former CEO Steve Jobs taught him about Hollywood, how Apple Music is fighting against Spotify, and why the tech giant would never buy a studio.

But perhaps his most interesting answer was about the Apple TV.

Cue spearheaded the set-top box’s development, and it was widely rumoured that he was looking to put together a live TV streaming service to coincide with the device’s launch, but the deals reportedly didn’t come together in time.

When asked if Apple would put together its own streaming TV service, Cue told the Hollywood Reporter (emphasis added):

Whether we’re providing it or somebody else is, it really doesn’t matter to us. What we’re trying to do is build the platform that allows anybody to get content to consumers. If a Time Warner [Cable] or a DirecTV wants to offer a bundle themselves, they should do it through Apple TV and iPad and iPhone. As a matter of fact, I’m not a big fan of the skinny bundle.

What makes this answer interesting is that the first “skinny bundle” that works with the Apple TV was announced one month ago.

A skinny bundle is a package of TV channels, usually about 10 to 20 channels, sold directly to consumers over the internet without requiring them to sign up for cable. A great example is Dish’s Sling package — which was highlighted on-stage in June at Apple’s annual developer conference, by Cue himself.

“Sling, which offers a great selection of live cable channels, is coming to Apple TV today,” Cue said last month.

Cue also talks about how he thinks the TV experience can be improved. In particular, he doesn’t like channel guides or cable boxes, and wants to be able to talk to his television, like what’s possible with Apple TV’s Siri.

“The problem with [tv] is the way that we end up consuming it — generally a cable box. A satellite receiver is, to me, nothing more than a glorified VCR,” Cue told The Hollywood Reporter.

There’s more great colour in the full interview, like the fact that Cue drives a Tesla, and several photos of his sports memorabilia-covered office at Apple headquarters. Read the whole interview over at The Hollywood Reporter.

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