Tim Cook seemed to hint that there is room on the couch for both Netflix and Apple TV Plus, rather than a ruthless winner-takes-all rivalry.
The market for streaming services is set to get far more competitive over the coming months, with the following companies all preparing to launch new subscription TV binge platforms: Apple, Disney, HBO, TimeWarner, and BritBox (BBC & ITV).
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In an earning calls with investors this week, the CEO of Apple said: “The TV Plus product plays in a market where there’s a huge move from the cable bundle to over-the-top. We think that most users are going to get multiple over-the-top products and we’re going to do our best to convince them that the Apple TV Plus product should be one of them.”
So despite Netflix’s recent acquisition of rights to The Lord of the Rings, perhaps there won’t be just one streaming service to rule them all?
Tim Cook’s theory of multiple coexisting streaming services would rely on viewers subscribing to several platforms for a monthly fee. In turn, that will surely depend on affordable pricing.
Netflix spent $12 billion on content in 2018, projected to rise to $15 billion in 2019. Apple itself reportedly plans to pump $2 billion into original programming to bolster Apple TV Plus. It’s a clear statement of intent and a notable effort to diversify its offerings in light of declining smartphone sales.
However, a possible strategy would be for Apple to offer a complementary service to Netflix (which serves almost 140 million users worldwide), rather than a direct rival. Having hired big names like Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, it’s possible that Apple TV Plus will offer a limited amount of high-quality content rather than feeding people’s daily binge-watching habit.
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Just as for Apple hardware products, the target audience for such a service is likely to be wealthier than the average consumer, with exclusivity likely to be part of the attraction.
How many streaming services do you think you’d be willing to pay for at any one time? Let us know on Twitter at @TrustedReviews.