Apple (AAPL) announced its long-awaited streaming initiative, Apple TV+, at an event in Cupertino, California, on March 25. Apple’s new streaming service will be an ad-free subscription service, and it will be available in more than 100 countries.
However, CEO Tim Cook didn’t share any pricing details for the service, which is coming this fall, leaving investors puzzled as to how it will be positioned in the streaming space.
Shows and content
Apple TV+ will stream movies and TV shows from third-party studios alongside its own original shows, such as Carpool Karaoke: The Series, to take on streaming rivals Netflix (NFLX), Hulu, and Amazon (AMZN). Apple has partnered with Hollywood stars Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Jason Momoa, among others, who will become part of Apple’s original shows such as The Morning Show, the science-fiction series See, and the anthology series Little America.
Apple’s streaming service will come through a revamped Apple TV app, which will launch in May. Apple will also offer Apple TV Channels, which will feature content from other streamers, such as AT&T’s (T) HBO, CBS’s (CBS) Showtime, CBS All Access, and Starz (owned by Lionsgate Entertainment), along with its own content. Apple’s programming will also be available through smart TVs and devices from Roku (ROKU) and others.
The iPhone maker has invested $1 billion in original content to make its push in the streaming industry. However, the company still seems to be lagging behind Netflix, which invested more than $8 billion in original programming in 2018. Amazon and Hulu spent more than $4 billion and ~$2.5 billion, respectively, on content in 2018.
According to predictions by Wedbush Securities, Apple’s streaming service could add 100 million subscribers in the next three years. Netflix had added 8.8 million paying subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, ending the period with a total global paying subscriber base of ~139.3 million.