During its March 2019 event, Apple unveiled its online streaming services among other services like Apple Arcade, News+, and Apple TV Channels. Though Apple spared nearly 60 minutes for its video streaming announcements during the event, Apple Card stole the show with its extraordinary features; thus Apple standing right to its motto “expect the unexpected.”
Even as Apple has roped in creative geniuses like Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, there is a tough road for the tech giant to create contents that will grab the attention of users, who are already hooked to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Denting the established bastions will require Apple to generate excellent entertainment before its deadline. Users may not have forgotten the debacle of AirPower and HomePod – former has never seen the light of day and the latter was announced in June 2017 and released in February 2018.
Apple TV Plus — Critical Challenges for Cupertino Giant
Apple Needs World-Class Content Before Fall
In his opening remarks, Apple CEO said, “We’ve also been creating a collection of world-class services, and that is what today is all about.” To create world-class services, Apple needs investment and time. But this can be just the tip of the iceberg. There are more severe challenges Apple has to handle in the near future.
Competition from Established Players
Apple has to accept its mistake of launching its streaming services late. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have already covered the swathes of geographies on the world map.
Apple’s TV+ is going to air shows and movies from fall this year. By that time, other leading platforms will have engaged many more spectators worldwide.
If we check the figures, Netflix was founded in 1997 and expanded its streaming in 2010. In 2012, Netflix entered the content production with its first series Lilyhammer.
Prime Video of Amazon was first launched in 2006. Today, Prime Video and Netflix are available in 200 and 190 countries respectively.
With such a long and strong presence, both can give Apple a good run for their money.
During the “Show Time” event, speakers frequently mentioned the word “Culture.” It is universally accepted that stories are deeply associated with culture. And if Apple has to win the hearts of consumers worldwide, the brand has to produce regional content based on the local culture.
During the event, none talked about regional content, which is one of the selling points for Netflix and Amazon Prime Video’s success. This again calls for a team of creators from the different parts of the world.
No matter how global we are as netizens, we love to consume entertainment in our local language, and for this reason, online streaming platforms invest about 30% of their annual budgets into local language content.
Apple has allocated a budget of $1 billion for its Apple TV Plus. What portion of this budget goes into making local content?
Apple has made its TV app available on several platforms including Fire TV and other smart TVs. But the company has missed targeting a large chunk of Android and Windows users. Not all iPhone or iPad users own Mac computer. Apple allows users to access its TV app on iOS, Apple TV app, and Mac; Android is left out.
Android and Windows users form a significant target group that enjoys streaming contents on their smartphones, tablets, and computers. In addition to this, there are millions of consumers, who stream contents via popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Apple didn’t offer any solution for non-Safari users.
Apple believes in offering hygienic content to the consumers, and at the same time, it wants to produce gripping storylines and dramas. Now, these two are opposite objectives for Apple. Netflix has successfully generated original content. Do you think Apple can agree to series like Orange Is The New Black or even House of Cards?
This means there can be a stark absence of adult content, which is in high demand. Late night shows and adult contents are consumed by a specific category of viewers on their devices — Apple’s policy to keep its content free of adult shows.
It is natural that Apple won’t do anything that imperils its brand image. But then Apple has to lose a colossal mass of audience, who love to watch uncensored contents.
Keeping pace with dynamism of the entertainment industry
The world of entertainment is extremely dynamic; what is in today can be out tomorrow. With the changing tastes of the audience, Apple needs to produce its content to lure the viewers. Given the fact that Apple executives (including Tim Cook) have been “very involved” in the production of TV shows. A report suggests that Tim Cook himself visited sets in Vancouver and LA.
Creative brains need the freedom to create content. If the management fails to provide this space, how can creators produce TV shows and movies in time? Thus, Apple cannot jump the popular bandwagon and reap benefits of a trend.
Lack of Vision
For the first time, Apple and its team sounded visionless during the event. From the body-language of speakers to the presentation, the audience was looking for a vision as to where the team wants to take this business.
Since Apple is a cash-rich Company, it would be a wise decision to take over Netflix rather than wasting time after starting the things from scratch.
Building a streaming platform that can compete for the likes of Netflix and Prime Video has its teething troubles. Apple could easily skirt this stumbling block by taking control of Netflix.
Disney+: The Real Game Changer
Disney’s upcoming streaming service can take on Netflix and Apple both. Although Disney+ will launch its services later this year, it can certainly impress consumers with an overwhelming range of original and ordered contents.
Disney+ has Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox, BlueSky, SearchLight Pictures, and others in its kitty.
WSJ quotes Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger as saying, “Disney+ is his No. 1 priority. He spent $71.3 billion on 21st Century Fox to boost the number of movies and shows it can offer, has given up hundreds of millions of dollars in Netflix licensing fees to hold on to Disney content for the new service, and has even delayed his own retirement to see it through.”
To enrich its content gallery, Disney+ will have approximately 7000 episodes of television and 500 movies.
Pricing has always been a tough nut to crack for many tech companies, and Apple is no exception. Apple has tasted some bitter experiences about iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max prices. Following this, the company wants to play safely in the business of Services. For its safer side, Apple has not yet fixed charges for its Apple tv+.
In the middle of speculations, expectations, and rumors, Apple users have mysterious anxiety about Apple’s tv+ per month subscription rates especially when Apple has not made it clear about its prices.
For Apple, the real test lies in offering the package: a bundle or standalone charges? The latter would not be the choice of users. A family, who use Apple devices, will always welcome bundle package, which can be shared among the members.
That’s all for now, folks!
Apple is riding high on its massive installed base and success of Apple Music. Apple News subscription business also looks promising as of now. But video streaming is a different ball game, and therefore, Apple has to look before it leaps.
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