According to a report of ‘The Information‘, Apple’s streaming TV service, which is similar to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, will launch in the first half of the next year. The service will be available as a separate app or within the existing TV app. It will launch first in the US and will be made available in more than 100 countries after a few months. It will provide a mix of original programming, access to third-party services, and subscription to channel packages provided by network and cable operators directly.
Apple has been trying its hands on streaming for years. But, it had to face many complex licensing deals and legacy media companies’ pressure on pricing and bundling. As compared to its competitors like Amazon and Netflix, Apple has been far behind. Both its competitors have built strong ecosystems containing original programming and content. In 2006, Apple started selling its own set-top box. But, it has always remained a channel through which other companies provide its media. Also, it is far behind Amazon and Roku hardware in the market share.
Apple is far behind Amazon and Netflix in the Streaming Market
Apple seems ready to compete Amazon and Netflix with the launch of its official streaming TV service. It will be free for iOS device users and act as a home interface for its Apple TV line. One obstacle for the expansion of this software is that Apple doesn’t want this software to exist outside its own hardware. Amazon’s Prime Video and Netflix exist as mobile apps, built-in smart TV apps, and streaming apps in the set-top box. Amazon also produces the Fire TV line, which contains its Prime Video app as the entire home interface. This means, Prime Video and Netflix can easily gain consumers from several ways. But, Apple is limiting its own service’s reach.
Still, Apple may try to reach consumers by many of its other hardware and software products. If millions of iOS and Apple TV users join the company’s free service, it can easily get many consumers. In contrast to Apple’s free service, Prime Video has $119 annual fee, and Netflix has $7.99 monthly fee.
The reason here is original programming and content. Apple has reportedly spent $1 billion for this in 2018 alone. So far, Apple has its original shows like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps on Apple Music. Apple is trying to have more and more original programming and content by signing deals. Let’s see if this programming will be any good.
It took many years for Amazon and Netflix to successfully enter Hollywood and have Oscar-winning projects. It could take some time for Apple to create same level of content and environment. But, it is certain that Apple wants to compete and has the money to invest.
Fifteen years back, iTunes dominated the digital media world. iTunes let you easily browse, play, and purchase music, movies, and TV on your computer or MP3 player. Though Apple had the dominant position in the world of smartphone, with its iPhone, it missed its opportunity of streaming video. Now, with the launch of TV service, the company wants to catch up streaming video.