Television is in the midst of a catastrophic, mind blowing change. Instead of a few dozen channels and nothing to watch, we have millions of video channel sources, and instead of just a family TV, we have dozens of devices to view so-called TV.
Apple, of course, has been in the content industry for nearly two decades with iTunes; music, movies, and TV shows, and YouTube and other video content sources ride on Apple’s nearly 1.5-billion customer devices.
So, why is Apple hedging its bet on television?
For a variety of reasons, everybody who makes content these days seems to want their own channel, and if they don’t actually make content, they’re willing to aggregate video content into a package and that means the industry is awash in video sources.
Google has YouTube and YouTube TV. Then there’s video streaming competition from Netflix, Amazon, Disney, CBS, Sony, Sling, Roku, and dozens more; all working diligently to update their catalog of content and to set themselves apart from the growing competition.
What about Apple? Think hedged bet.
Apple TV does not sell in the numbers that Roku, Google, or Amazon tout, but Apple’s hardware provides an agnostic platform that houses just about every video or music source you can think of. Apple makes money on hardware, but the bet is being hedged with exclusive content on Apple TV.
Apple has invested more than $1-billion to create Netflix-like, Amazon-like video content in the way of series and specials that will be available only to the company’s 1-billion customers. Apple also plans to introduce a streaming video content service that marries content from a variety of sources– video and television networks– to compete with content providers that also promote their wares on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Competition is tough?
Disney must have hired the same wordsmiths and naming experts that worked at Google, so the expected Disney+ streaming service– a Dumbo dumb name is there ever was one– will add a huge brand name to the growing cadre of video service platforms.
Erik Gruenwedel found a survey that makes Disney look like a winner:
When asked about the likelihood they would sign up for “a Netflix-like service” that included movies from Disney, National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm (Star Wars); Disney TV shows for children; and original content, 43% of survey respondents said they were likely to sign up, while 27% very likely to subscribe.
Goodbye, cable TV; hello 21st century streaming video services. Apple has hedged its bet on the streaming services of the future with access on every Mac, iPhone, and iPad (plus other devices), Apple TV; platforms that run channels as apps– a one stop shop where anything you want is available to stream and view.
It turns out rumors of an Apple spring event were true: the company’s next event will happen on March 25th at the Steve Jobs theater on Apple’s Cupertino campus.
What will Apple launch?
Apple is expected to reach deals with HBO, Showtime, and Starz in time for its March 25th event
How will Apple’s content venture compare to the competition?
At launch, most of the shows and movies in Apple’s video service will be from outside suppliers, underscoring the importance of signing up partners. Most of Apple’s own movies and TV shows are still in development
So, not much original content. Yet.
How well will Apple compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix?
Netflix, Hulu and others report tallies for subscribers who sign up just to obtain their content, as opposed to in Apple’s case, where they will be accessing the Apple-designed platform and order cafeteria-style, as they do in Apple’s iTunes or App stores.
Can Apple succeed with so much competition?
Apple’s long-awaited streaming service is expected to acquire more than 100 million subscribers in the five years after its launch
Uh huh. Sure.
Since Services has become a more important component in Apple’s product mix, maybe Apple has its sights set on something else.
Amazon Prime is the natural comparison to whatever Apple bundle could be created.
In reality, Apple doesn’t seem to be taking much of a risk as the company has about 1.5-billion devices in the wild, over a billion customers, and a rapidly growing Services business that could turn into Apple Prime with little effort.
The 21st century is here, folks, and Apple will be in the mix as television changes into video content from everywhere to everything.