Strategy

Apple Enters Streaming Wars With Apple TV+

The new streaming platform may face heavy competition from the likes of Netflix but should grow Apple's services business.
Matthew HellerMarch 26, 2019
Apple Enters Streaming Wars With Apple TV+

Apple has unveiled its long-awaited streaming service as part of its push to grow its services business amid slower iPhone sales.

The new Apple TV+ service will launch in the fall and feature original content, with roughly two dozen shows already in production or development. It will be ad-free on Apple devices as well as other platforms such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

But at Monday’s launch event, Apple declined to reveal pricing for the service and, as the Los Angeles Times reports, “Some in Hollywood are skeptical whether Apple will succeed, citing the company’s cautious approach to content and heavy competition from the likes of Netflix, which has roughly 140 million paid subscribers and is expected to spend $15 billion on content this year.”

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“There are still a lot of unanswered questions,” said Gene Munster, a managing partner with venture capital firm Loup Ventures.

Apple’s services segment, which also includes Apple Music and mobile payment option Apple Pay, generated $37 billion in revenue the last fiscal year, up 24% from the prior year. The company on Monday also introduced the Apple TV Channels subscription service, which will allow users to access pay-TV channels such as HBO and Showtime.

“We partnered with the most thoughtful, accomplished and award-winning group of creative visionaries who have ever come together in one place, to create a new service unlike anything that’s been done before,” CEO Tim Cook said of Apple TV+.

Apple is expected to spend $1 billion to $2 billion a year on its original content. But Wired noted that Netflix spends six times more, adding, “When you have $245 billion cash on hand the way Apple does, dropping less than a percent of it seems too little, too late.”

Tim Bajarin, president of advisory services firm Creative Strategies, said the new streaming platform won’t dethrone Netflix, but it should grow the services business. “I don’t see this as a Netflix killer,” he told the LA Times. “This is an economics story.”