Video subscription, Apple-style
Apple is entering the video streaming market with TV+, a subscription service for exclusive shows, films and documentaries. The price of the subscription is yet to be announced.
Tech giant Apple has decided to try its hand in a field where other players have the advantage. A not inconsiderable one at that. It’s still under wraps how Apple plans to compete with rival streaming video service providers. More will be known in the autumn with the release of Apple TV+, a subscription package for video content on demand.
The name may not be particularly innovative, but the talent Apple has attracted certainly is. They include some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, such as Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and others.
They will create original series, talk shows, themed shows, etc., exclusively for Apple TV+. »We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet«, said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president, in a news post. In addition to talk shows, Apple has also announced that it will produce films and documentaries.
Apart from Apple’s original production, TV+ subscribers will also have access to other content providers, such as HBO and BritBox.
The tech giant’s service is designed in the vein of subscription packages, which have been popular with users in recent years, with Netflix leading the way. It remains to be seen if Apple is able to compete, but the price will surely be an important factor. The subscription rates are yet to be announced, giving rise to speculation on how the rivalry will play out.
What we do know is that Apple plans to differentiate themselves from competition by featuring a whole range of streaming video providers in one place, offering content from HBO, Showtime, Amazon Prime, BritBox and more.
This means that Apple’s original content will serve as the cherry on top, while the ingredients for the cake will be sourced from other providers and offered to subscribers at no extra charge. Based on viewing choices, the programming will be tailored to their habits and needs.
In short, Apple will provide a single subscription for life per month with a whole range of TV channels and streaming video services. Users will be able to access these via the updated Apple TV app, to which Apple will add its own original content in the autumn. In line with similar streaming services, Apple TV+ will be ad-free.
Apple is entering the fray, but the battle for consumers of streaming video content will be anything but easy. There are several players in the field, and they are well entrenched.
With the sudden about-turn in its product range, Apple is clearly trying to upgrade the sale of expensive electronic devices with subscription services.
The company currently boasts over 360 million users. With services such as the iTunes multimedia player and library, Apple Music for streaming music and video, iCloud for data storage, the App Store, and Apple Pay, it generated an income of $10.9 billion in the last quarter of 2018 alone. However, the figure does include users subscribed to third-party apps and services that use the Apple payment system.
By the end of last year, Apple’s biggest competitor, Netflix, had attracted 139 million subscribers, while Amazon Prime had some 100 million users, and Hulu reached around 25 million. These three will soon be joined by Disney’s upcoming streaming platform, Disney+.
The battle will be anything but easy. There are a number of players in the field and they are well dug in, so it’s hard to say how much room is left for Apple. The technological pioneer has earned a good name and reputation through the years, but not in this field.