Looking to get hold of the Apple TV, but wondering whether it’s a great idea yet given the limited subscription choices available?
Apple has big plans to revamp its TV app and expand into video streaming in the coming months. Apple has been trying to tackle the competition from the likes of Amazon and Netflix, and the new services can leverage its position in the market.
Various news agencies have carried out reports on Apple’s plan, which includes paid subscriptions to original content developed by the company. The digital video service will be available to people who own the Apple TV and other devices like iPad and iPhone.
So what can we expect from the video service and when is it going to be launched? Let's find out the details!
Subscribe to Channels Using Apple TV App
Bloomberg ran a report in May 2018 detailing the plan of Apple to introduce video subscription services. The plan to make the TV app a central platform where people can access, watch and buy content. This is the first time Apple has decided to sell subscriptions to third-party channels from its app and is expected to contribute towards its service revenue which is predicted to reach $50 billion by 2020.
Currently, the TV app integrates content from different providers and allows viewers to access a wide range of channels like HBO, ABC, NBA League Pass and others. But the viewers are redirected to the third-party sources when they want to watch a show or buy a subscription to a channel.
Apple plans to allow its viewers to subscribe to media houses directly from the TV app without any extra cost. But people will still need to visit third-party apps to watch the shows. That can change in the future if Apple decides to stream the shows directly from the TV app.
Apple is said to be in negotiations with different channels to decide the terms and cost for broadcasting their programs on the TV app. The subscriptions will vary according to the availability of channels on country-basis.
The offering can be compared with Amazon's Prime video service. It offers its streaming services in 200 countries while subscriptions to channels are available only in four countries. Apple is also said to be working on original content which will also debut with the video service.
Free Original Content for Apple Device Owners
Apple is not just eyeing subscriptions; it also wants to expand into the field of original content. The company has been missing out on the on-demand market which has grown to replace the sale of individual online titles. Netflix and Youtube are the two major players in this field, and Apple has a long way to catch on!
The best part is that the original content will be available for free to Apple device owners. Wall Street Journal released a report recently revealing that Apple has 24 original shows in development and production.
The company is investing around $1 billion on producing original content in the PG-rated category. Apple has targeted the category as it appeals to a wide range of audiences and won't create a problem when they are offered free to Apple device owners. Apple is also searching for “tent pole” franchises who can act like Netflix and provide subscription-based services to the users.
The New York Times reports that Apple is on track to exceed that number and has beaten Netflix to get rights to exclusive shows to feature on their TV app. Apple is looking for TV shows that portray the bright and optimistic outlook of the brand. For this reason, they have toned down elements like sexuality and extreme language in their content.
Apple is going ahead full steam to create a vast library of original content. They are producing a drama which brings back Steve Carell to television once more. The drama also stars the famous Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon and is based on the book 'Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.'
Apple is also looking to produce children' shows, adult dramas, and European and Latin American content.
When is the New App is being Released?
Apple plans to release the new app sometime in April or May in 2019. Initially, the launch of the original content was planned on March 2019, but it appears Apple is going to introduce all the features all at once.
Also, the projects were undertaken by Apple only a few months back. It can take up to one year to film the shows and get the post-production done. The first season needs more time to record as the team needs to coordinate the script, cast, and crew.
The Apple streaming service will be expanded to 100 countries but not at the same time. The services are first scheduled to be released in the United States and expand to other countries in the following months. The TV app can come out in the United States in April so the other countries will have to wait for some time before they can enjoy Apple content.
Apple Takes Competition Seriously
Apple is facing difficulties to make deals with large media houses who are wary of handing over their direct consumer relationships. The crash of the music industry is sometimes blamed on Apple who introduced the 99-cents per song approach and has prevented the tech giant's effort to break through deals with various media outlets.
But this time Apple has roped in Peter Stern, who is well-versed with the legacy media companies. Apple is counting on his leadership to strike deals with the companies who are apprehensive of losing their market share to the company.
Apple is looking to retain control over the purchasing decision of the viewers so that they can influence their behaviors. We have to wait and see if Apple climbs the position that is enjoyed by the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.