When the rumors started flying about Apple launching a streaming service competitor I thought to my self, Apple is usually late to the game but this move would put them at the back of the line.
The streaming content game is full of established players that have a proven original content track record. Apple spent a large portion of its event parading heavyweight content creators across the stage.
Cook introduced Apple TV Plus, which they hope will become “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries”.
Steven Spielberg said he will be resurrecting the Amazing Stories brand for Apple TV Plus. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell then took the stage to discuss another Apple original, The Morning Show. The parade of celebrities included Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, Kumail Nanjiani, J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, and Big Bird felt over extensive as went over the unique content they planned on bringing to Apple TV Plus.
The move feels five years too late, as Netflix’s has 139 million subscribers worldwide. Amazon is another massive force in video streaming and Disney is also launching its own service this year, armed with an imposing library that became more formidable with its purchase of 21st Century Fox’s films and TV series.
Apple is expected to spend $2 billion this year on original content that it hopes can stand toe to toe with shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others. But it’s got some catching up to do as Netflix is spending billions more in 2019. If it’s a matter of buying your way into the game, Apple has plenty of money to spend, with about $245 billion in cash and marketable securities.
Money often isn’t enough to win over Hollywood. As part of its efforts to make quick connections, Apple hired two longtime Sony television executives, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, in 2017.
The AppleTV App got a pretty major overhaul, serving as a hub for video subscriptions isn’t a new idea: Amazon started down this path with its add-on Prime Video Channels, which allow Prime members to stream programming from third parties like HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS, and others by paying for each service separately through their Amazon billing account.
Convenience is really the name of the game, and putting everything in one place is much simpler for people trying to track what they’re spending. Apple’s execution is a bit different since it doesn’t require a major service like Prime as a prerequisite before consumers can buy subscriptions. So the barrier of entry is lower, if you don’t count the cost of buying the Apple device you’ll need to use the app.
Apple will be taking a cut of each subscription it sells, which will help further boost revenues for the company’s services division. That’s crucial as Apple looks for other reliable profit sources in a world of flat iPhone sales.
We do know Apple Tv Plus will launch in over 100 countries this fall. But there could be a plot twist on the way since we’ don’t know the how much the service will cost.