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Apple TV service will share viewing data with networks, report claims

Apple is hoping to entice content partners and advertisers to its rumoured TV streaming platform by sharing valuable information on user viewing habits, according to reports on Tuesday.

In the latest of a series of reports on the subject in the last week, the New York Post says the company is willing to offer feedback on viewer demographics and disclose what viewers are watching and when they’re watching it.

The information could help to sweeten the pot for broadcasters and content providers who may otherwise be reticent to jump into bed with Apple over fears of disrupting their current business models.

Should Apple fork over the viewer data, it would provide the networks with priceless information enabling them to better target programming. However, such a scheme would surely raise questions over user privacy.

A source familiar with the talks said: “They’re allowing a lot more decision-making by the content owner.”

Apple is apparently telling content providers: “It’s up to you, whatever you guys want to do.”

Networks currently use pilot programs and ratings services like Nielsen to gauge how their programmes are performing with audiences. However, both of those offer small sample sizes and only account for viewings on traditional broadcast television.

The content providers could be doubly enthused by this, given current web TV purveyors like Netflix and Amazon refuse to disclose the performance of programming.

Read more: Apple TV set-top box review

Earlier on Monday reports emerged claiming Apple is hoping to launch a cable-free subscription service later this year offering around 25 channels to be streamed via its Apple TV set-top box.

The space is becoming increasingly packed as viewers continue to look for access to their favourite programming without committing to expensive cable packages.

Sling TV is already pushing its platform, while PlayStation Vue will reportedly land in three U.S. cities in the coming weeks.

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