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  • It’s Show Time for Apple


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    The quick version: Apple is expected to launch its original content and streaming video services today.

    The long(er) version

    Sorry to break it to you, but this isn’t exactly the Apple vs. Netflix pay-per-view you ordered. This is Apple vs. every other third party selling video subscription services.

    Netflix has carved a name for itself creating bingeworthy original content (that’ll cost $15 billion this year). But for all the star power Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston bring to Cupertino, Apple’s original content is more like the cherry on top of the sundae.

    The sundae—at least for now: using Reese & Co. to get users on the platform, then selling those users subscriptions to premium services like HBO, Showtime, and more, all while taking a cut.

    • It could work. Apple’s already got more than 1 billion devices across the globe (compared to Netflix’s 139 million subscribers worldwide). In the biz they call that owning the pipes.

    You’re looking at the Amazon model

    Since its 2015 launch, Amazon Prime Channels has capitalized on existing customer relationships. It’s a lot easier to click “purchase now” on a 12-month HBO deal when Amazon already has your billing info on file.

    • One crazy stat: The Diffusion Group estimated Amazon was responsible a year ago for 55% of all standalone video subscriptions.

    So what makes Apple’s different?

    According to Recode, Apple is expected to create a new storefront on the upcoming service that will streamline buying TV subscription apps. Instead of scrolling through streaming apps in a crowded App Store, all your shows will be in one convenient spot.

    Plus, Apple is widely expected to offer its own bundles of premium services like Showtime, HBO, and Starz to its 1.4 billion users at lower price points than you’d pay for each individually.

    Who’s notably sitting out the bundle? You might’ve figured it out by now...Netflix.

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    iTransform... Apple marathoned through its biggest non-iPhone product event ever. Technically, there was no hardware — Just human being celebrities there to promote its new TV shows (enter, Oprah, Spielberg, J-Aniston). Apple made itself over into an everything company. 

    Here's the new roster... Apple offered a bunch of services for your living room, but was hazy on some details and the price (no clue yet on how much TV or gaming will cost):

    • Apple Card: A Goldman Sachs and Mastercard powered menage àpartnership credit card (without the physical card). Pay and manage spending from an app, which updates your budget.
    • Apple TV+: Its new streaming service starts with a dozen original new shows. But it also integrates your other streaming options (except Netflix), so you can search once to see if The Notebook is available anywhere.
    • Apple News+: It's bundled the WSJ, LA Times, and over 300 magazines for $9.99 monthly (the NY Times and Washington Post are doing their own thing).
    • Apple Arcade: A subscription for smartphone, tablet, and computer games (and it's the least exciting of all 4). 
    THE TAKEAWAY 

    Bundling for you, while it unbundles itself... Apple's got a TV bundle, a news bundle, a music bundle, and a gaming bundle. It's like Apple's updated its own operating system to become a real "services" company. Its future is bundled in bundles because that means you're paying monthly for each.




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