At its annual fall event last September 10 launching the new iPhones, Apple also announced more details about its upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service.
According to a former Hulu and Netflix executive, Simon Gallagher, Apple’s new streaming service will be able to compete with its rivals.
Gallagher worked for Hulu as its director of strategy and business development. He left Hulu and joined Netflix as its director of content acquisition.
When Apple announced that its streaming service, which is set to launch on November 1, is priced at $4.99 per month, it was met with praise from analysts who were surprised with the pricing.
Customers buying new Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac will be treated to a year’s worth of Apple TV+ for free. That gives customers over $100 savings.
“The biggest surprise for us is $4.99/month for TV+ with a free one-year subscription if customers purchase a new Apple device. This is reasonable pricing, given the small number of programs available during the first year, and should help Apple gain an initial audience base for its content,” said Barclays analyst Tim Long.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty found Apple TV+ pricing to be compelling and had this to say: “First, TV+ pricing is lower than expected and the bundling of 12-months free TV+ with a purchase of most devices creates a competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded streaming video market. Second, Apple didn’t raise prices relative to comparable product launches last year after several years of price increases.”
There was also some skepticism surrounding the Apple TV+ because of its limited content offering and whether or not it would sit well with those who are already subscribing to other paid streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Showtime.
“You’ve seen with Showtime and HBO, it’s only taken a couple of shows each season to encourage people to maintain their subscription, and I think Apple will absolutely be able to do that with the current lineup they have in place,” said Gallagher.
When Apple TV+ launches on the first day of November, there will be nine original shows. The line-up will include Jennifer Aniston’s The Morning Show and Jason Mamoa’s See.
Other titles include Dickinson, For All Mankind, Ghostwriter, Helpsters, The Elephant Queen, and Snoopy in Space. There will also be something new from Oprah Winfrey.
The Cupertino-based company’s move to get into the streaming and gaming services is said to be part of Apple’s attempt to rely less on the revenue brought by its hardware products. In July, Apple reported that its iPhone revenues for fiscal Q3 2019 were only $25.99 billion. It missed the $26.31 billion estimated by Wall Street.
Apart the low cost of its streaming service, Apple also has the edge when it comes to competing with other existing streaming services. As a start, there are currently about 1.4 billion Apple devices being used worldwide. With its ability to market its original shows, it would also attract content creators to work with them in terms of streaming partnerships.
Apple’s brick and mortar stores are seen as great places to market Apple TV+ and its original content.
“The foot traffic that they get through the stores, if you think about your ability to promote a new film or TV show through that type of venue, that I think is pretty impressive,” expressed Gallagher.