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Is Apple Ready to Square Off with Netflix?

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Apple CEO promises big announcements

Apple’s (AAPL) much-anticipated Netflix-like (NFLX) video service may arrive as early as this April, the Information reported, citing several unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Without specifically mentioning the video service, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the conference call to discuss the December quarter results that the company has a strong pipeline of services, adding that some exciting announcements are coming later in the year.

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777 million SVOD subscribers globally

Cord-cutting is fueling the uptake of so-called subscription video on-demand (or SVOD) services, and Apple wants to tap into this opportunity to grow its service business. The SVOD market presents a huge growth opportunity for Apple. According to a new report from Transparency Market Research, the global SVOD market will exceed $100 billion in revenue by the end of 2026. According to a report from Research and Markets, there will be 777 million SVOD subscribers worldwide by the end of 2023 from 409 million in 2017.

The market is getting crowded

But venturing into the SVOD business means Apple is wading into a rapidly crowding market. In addition to Netflix, the other big brands jostling for revenue in the SVOD market include AT&T (T), Dish Network (DISH), and Walt Disney (DIS). AT&T closed 2018 with 1.6 million subscribers on its DIRECTV Now video service. Dish’s SlingTV had 2.4 million subscribers at the end of September. Plus, Disney is preparing to launch a new subscription video service called Disney Plus before the end of the year.

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