According to reports from the CTA (Consumer Technology Association) and The Information online tech industry rag, Apple’s streaming TV service – which is believed to look something like Amazon Prime Video or Netflix – will launch in the first half of next year. The US will kick off the new app before it is rolled out to some 100 countries worldwide. As we had suspected, there will be original programming, provision for subscription to packages offered by cable providers and networks, as well as access to third-party services.
Apple has been hoping to break into the streaming arena for many years, but the company has had to face licensing and pricing challenges, and has consequently conceded market share to Netflix and Amazon, both of which capitalize on their mix of licensed content and original programming. The Apple set-top box has been available since 2006, but it mainly gave access to other companies’ media, and itself took at backseat to hardware solutions available from Amazon and Roku.
Apple’s new streaming service will purportedly be free for iOS device owners. If so, billions of iOS and Apple TV users will not be on the line for fees such as Netflix’s $7.99 per month and Amazon’s $119 p.a., but Apple is allocating supposedly $1bn for new content this year alone, on which it will clearly have to rely chiefly for its new venture. It is reported that original programming deals for Apple will include shows from Oprah Winfrey, a new version of Amazing Stories, an animated feature film, a serialized sci-fi extravaganza and a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan.
Certainly ready cash is available on Apple’s side, but the jury will be out for some time concerning the quality of the content produced, and it’s worth noting that Netflix and Amazon have had skin in the game for many years up to this point. Do any of our members think Apple will succeed, and will you subscribe when the service becomes available? Let us know below…