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Apple looks set to steal Netflix’s streaming crown — but its lead won’t last long

Date published: 2019-09-12
Originally published: Here. Excerpt below.


Apple Inc’s move to offer a free TV+ subscription for a year with every new device may briefly crown the iPhone maker as the biggest streaming service by user numbers, leapfrogging Netflix Inc.
But it doesn’t mean Apple will keep the lead.
Under the company’s plans announced on Tuesday, any purchaser of an iPhone, Macbook, iPad, or iPod Touch will now get the Apple TV+ streaming service free and will be charged US$5 a month only if they decide to continue after the year is over. The service will cost $5.99 in Canada.
Given Wall Street expects Apple to sell at least 130 million iPhones outside of China in the next 12 months, and that last year it sold more than 60 million Macbooks and iPads, that should allow TV+ to easily top Netflix’s almost 160 million users.
Thereafter, however, all bets will be off, with Apple facing the same need for fresh shows to make subscribers pay, which drove Netflix to sink a reported US$12 billion into new programming last year.
While the company has spent months assembling a roster of Hollywood talent and planned shows, analysts say the US$2 billion Apple plans to spend this year is a long way from a guarantee of the hits it would need to pull in viewers, regardless of the cheaper US$5 per month price tag for TV+.
“We believe Netflix’s 10-year head start, scale, breadth of content and customer engagement is unlikely to be dented by an Apple TV+ subscription service with a relatively light content slate and no library content,” Credit Suisse analysts said.
CROWDS
The video streaming market is on the verge of becoming a very crowded space, with the new services from Apple and Walt Disney set to compete with Hulu, Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video and HBO Max.
Analysts say that will change the nature of a business where the relatively limited number of services and the idiosyncrasy of them — Prime for example is bundled with Amazon’s free delivery service – meant users rarely had to choose.
Whereas Netflix in the past took content fr ...


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— NUS Trivia | tech news (@NusTrivia) September 12, 2019