Apple: It’s not TV, it’s TV+
Just a few days ago, Apple revealed its new Apple TV and Apple TV+ services thus officially entering the streaming business. Despite bringing up on stage the likes of Spielberg, Winfrey, Aniston, Witherspoon, Momoa, J.J. Abrams, Carell and even Big Bird (one of the stars of our current issue), media and analysts really missed the big WOW! effect, the real big bang. The majority of press coverage noted the lack of teasers from the new shows and the missing details on the pricing.
Perhaps it was Apple’s intention to leave a slight taste of dissatisfaction and hunger for more after the Hollywood-style event. Or perhaps those details are really not that important to them. Perhaps the majority of media and analysts are missing the one, most important point.
Apple is not building services that will compete aggressively with SVOD platforms making original content. Apple will not fight for the eyeballs it already has, because Apple TV+ will be the biggest global distributor of TV, sports and entertainment content with a potential reach of 1.4 billion devices in more than 100 countries.
For comparison, Netflix currently counts 139 million clients, i.e. less than 10% of Apple’s reach, and spends about $15 billion to keep those customers chilling. Apple is not planning to spend that much on content. Apple does not care who made the content or where it comes from. That’s why they didn’t really care to show “teasers” of their shows. Apple’s hidden message was: “No matter what content you like, we will bring it to you.”
This is already happening with Apple TV offering content from the likes of HBO, EPIX, Starz, and Showtime, with more to come. On top of all Apple devices, Apple TV will be available also on various smart TVs, along with Amazon Fire and Roku, further boosting its worldwide coverage. Some analysts expect that these partnerships could add more than $20 billion of “high visibility” annual revenue within five years. That would be more than Netflix’s current turnover of $16 billion. No, Apple is not too late, too far behind. It is already ahead and cashing in from the streaming game, while others continue the fight to grow their reach by spending billions.
Apple has now entered a new stage of its development and is set to become the center of global entertainment business for years to come.