Apple poised to jump into video, with over 50 percent of U.S. now subscribed to streaming ...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 2018
According to a new digital media trends survey, Americans spend more than $2 billion per month on streaming subscriptions, and Apple appears ready to capture some of that in the near future with its aggressive content creation moves.




The 12th edition of Deloitte's Digital Media Trends Survey found that 55 percent of U.S. households now subscribe to at least one streaming service, and the average streaming video subscriber is paying for three services.

Also, more than 48 percent of U.S. consumers stream television content either every day or weekly, a number that was just 37 percent last year. And those subscribing to specific services are largely driven to do so by exclusive content.

The news from the survey bodes well for Apple's ambitious content plans, as it shows a consumer trend towards getting streaming content from more than one source. Whatever form Apple's plans take, it won't necessarily mean customers bailing on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. It's also likely that a lot of those streams are using the Apple TV to do so, although the survey isn't broken down by device.

"Consumers now enjoy unparalleled freedom in selecting media and entertainment options and their expectations are at an all-time high," Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. media and entertainment leader, Deloitte LLP and author of the survey said in the announcement. "The rapid growth of streaming services and high quality original content has created a significant opportunity to monetize the on-demand environment in 2018."

The survey also drew conclusions about generational approaches to content, finding that more than 60 percent of Gen Xers -- most of whom are now older than 40 -- stream movies.

Apple's Eddy Cue talked about Apple 's still relatively amorphous content plans at the South by Southwest festival last month. Cue stated that Apple is "all in" on content, although he stated that, contrary to Netflix, "we're not after quantity, we're after quality."

Apple so far has announced a handful of high-profile projects, including a drama starring A-listers Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, a partnership with rapper Drake and "Central Park," a new animated musical series from the creator of "Bob's Burgers."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    red oakred oak Posts: 634member
    I don't see any discernible, organized strategy here by Apple.   It seems like a mishmash of random shows.    Apple does not bring any competitive advantage or internal expertise to this space  

    I think it is a waste of time, focus and $.   Lot of other folks are already spending billions creating content and they are all already in the App store  



    MetriacanthosaurusjbdragonDavidAlGregoryfluffhead1983
  • Reply 2 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,711member
    Whatever Apple comes up with I’m confident it will be met with abject negativity and disparagement in the tech tabloids. Another day, another Apple failure... only on tech blogs of course. In the real world real people will at least give it a chance.

    I’m wondering what the content delivery will consist of. Will it be an app on the ATV? Surely not iTunes? Will there be an additional fee over Apple Music? Probably. Or will it be a single price for everything like Prime? If $99/yr buys you music and shows I think most real people (not tech blog naysayers, see above and below) will be on board.
    edited March 2018 LukeCagejbdragonmacxpressRayz2016StrangeDaysgregg thurman
  • Reply 3 of 18
    red oak said:
    I don't see any discernible, organized strategy here by Apple.   It seems like a mishmash of random shows.    Apple does not bring any competitive advantage or internal expertise to this space  

    I think it is a waste of time, focus and $.   Lot of other folks are already spending billions creating content and they are all already in the App store  



    I agree, when Apple launched the latest AppleTV with it's cross-app siri-searching I figured that was the route they were going down - amalgamating all existing platforms into 1 seamless experience. I wonder if these apple funded shows are truly apple-only, or are they like Netflix's "original programming" which are often produced by others and available in other countries/channels beforehand or simultaneously (e.g. Black Mirror, The Fall, Happy Valley etc..).
  • Reply 4 of 18
    I don't understand this foray for them, they need be focused on the platform and content delivery. Arguably the people involved in this aren't any of the same people so it isn't a diversion of efforts, but it is still a use of money that may not not pan out.

    Maybe this is their way of trying to strong-arm uncooperative and ungrateful content providers like Netflix who aren't doing their part to make their app's experience on Apple as good as it could be.

    Personally I think Apple should just outdo Netflix with their own subscription service for video, and buy them out of existence if need be. I want to see better content delivery on Apple platforms. Better UI, better feature adoption, better everything.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    If Apple just uses their deep pockets to hire the best directors and actors, and let them do their thing, it could be ok. But if Apple tries to exercise creative control then maybe not so much. Because big companies tend to be very protective of their brand and don't want to associate it with anything too edgy. But the best works of art/entertainment are often a bit edgy. 

    e.g. Do you think Tim Cook would have approved Game of Thrones if it had been pitched to him? "Well, in this one scene, an entire wedding party is murdered, including women and children. And then we fade to credits and a giant Apple logo. What do you think Tim?" I think he would just sit there looking stony faced at them, and yet that was one of the most successful shows of the last few years.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    lkrupp said:
    If $99/yr buys you music and shows I think most real people (not tech blog naysayers, see above and below) will be on board.

    Since Apple Music alone is $120/yr ($180/yr for a family), you’re not going to get music and video content for $99/yr.
  • Reply 7 of 18

    ascii said:
    e.g. Do you think Tim Cook would have approved Game of Thrones if it had been pitched to him? "Well, in this one scene, an entire wedding party is murdered, including women and children. And then we fade to credits and a giant Apple logo. What do you think Tim?" I think he would just sit there looking stony faced at them, and yet that was one of the most successful shows of the last few years.

    I have no problem with Apple avoiding extreme content like Game of Thrones. I love the show, but the gratuitous sex and violence can be laughably over the top.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    I guess it depends on how you count.

    I pay for Amazon Prime but rarely use the streaming content. I guess Deloitte would count that as a streaming subscription.

    I do pay for and use DIRECTVNOW after having sampled Hulu, YouTubeTV, Sling TV and DTVN. I still want a la carte (no Sling, what you do is not a la carte) as I watch little TV and am not interested in subsidizing the Disney/ESPN empire or Fox anything.

    I am a PBS member and anything $5 a month and over gets you a PBS Passport which gives you a large library of PBS stuff to stream on demand. I choose KQED because I like their content better than my local PBS stations. So you can add PBS on demand streaming to your package for $5 a month.

    I have tried Curiosity Stream and on demand streaming service kind of like Discovery back before it was ruined. Lots of science, history and technology documentary stuff and they offer a 4K stream. Dropped it as I just did not use it enough to justify the expense. Some of it is OK, some is meh.

    Nothing I have heard from Apple sounds in the least bit interesting. Seriously.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,250member
    I had to experience it for myself to see why Gene Munster was always ringing the "Apple is going to make a TV set" bell. Since I got a smart roku UHDTV, I haven't used my ATV except for the rare stream of something from my itunes library. I do watch a lot of OTA content, and the idea of going back and forth for input to input, remote to remote is, as Apple once put it, "a terrible experience."

    I freely admit I am an atypical TV consumer. 
  • Reply 10 of 18

    Since Apple Music alone is $120/yr ($180/yr for a family), you’re not going to get music and video content for $99/yr.
    Apple Music is not worth $120/yr. Low quality 128kbps DRMed audio is not anything I have an interest in. I also oppose the way artists are under-compensated for streaming.

    As to video, the price should be different for ad supported and ad free. A lot of players want you to pay AND endure a blizzard of ads. HBO is worth the $, ad supported TV is not.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 11 of 18
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    "a-listers", pls AI. We know who those two are; just name them.
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 12 of 18
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 322member
    red oak said:
    I don't see any discernible, organized strategy here by Apple.   It seems like a mishmash of random shows.    Apple does not bring any competitive advantage or internal expertise to this space  

    I think it is a waste of time, focus and $.   Lot of other folks are already spending billions creating content and they are all already in the App store  



    You're missing the forest for the trees. Apple tried to simply license content into streaming package, etc.  Problem is that content owners decided, probably correctly, that owning streaming themselves was better for them.  Thus, content is getting more and more locked up, e.g., streaming service by Disney, original content by major competitors, cable service buying up content, etc.  Without more control over content, Apple risks being locked out and  losing increasing billions in service revenue and ecosystem tie in. Money that Apple will make from selling content is just one part of the equation.  

    You're right that billions are being spent on creating content, but that much of that content is mostly not available in App store in a way that benefits Apple beyond helping sell some Apple TV's, e.g., Amazon Prime and Netflix. Even that access is fragile as shown by Amazon refusing to install a Prime App, which they could pull in the future. 

    Fortunately, content producing is largely a game of numbers/money as they are all competing for the same producers, directors, etc., to produce content for them, and Apple has the money to get the content they want. 
  • Reply 13 of 18
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 322member

    ascii said:
    If Apple just uses their deep pockets to hire the best directors and actors, and let them do their thing, it could be ok. But if Apple tries to exercise creative control then maybe not so much. Because big companies tend to be very protective of their brand and don't want to associate it with anything too edgy. But the best works of art/entertainment are often a bit edgy. 

    e.g. Do you think Tim Cook would have approved Game of Thrones if it had been pitched to him? "Well, in this one scene, an entire wedding party is murdered, including women and children. And then we fade to credits and a giant Apple logo. What do you think Tim?" I think he would just sit there looking stony faced at them, and yet that was one of the most successful shows of the last few years.
    So you assume that Game of Thrones wouldn't have been as successful if it didn't have as much gore and graphic sex scenes?   Interesting theory.  
  • Reply 14 of 18
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    lkrupp said:
    Whatever Apple comes up with I’m confident it will be met with abject negativity and disparagement in the tech tabloids. Another day, another Apple failure... only on tech blogs of course. In the real world real people will at least give it a chance.

    I’m wondering what the content delivery will consist of. Will it be an app on the ATV? Surely not iTunes? Will there be an additional fee over Apple Music? Probably. Or will it be a single price for everything like Prime? If $99/yr buys you music and shows I think most real people (not tech blog naysayers, see above and below) will be on board.
    I am looking forward to the show with Jennifer Anniston and Reece Witherspoon. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,711member
    lkrupp said:
    If $99/yr buys you music and shows I think most real people (not tech blog naysayers, see above and below) will be on board.

    Since Apple Music alone is $120/yr ($180/yr for a family), you’re not going to get music and video content for $99/yr.
    Apple Music is $99/yr right now if you go with a yearly subscription instead of monthly. Or didn’t you know that?
  • Reply 16 of 18
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,851member
    red oak said:
    I don't see any discernible, organized strategy here by Apple.   It seems like a mishmash of random shows.    Apple does not bring any competitive advantage or internal expertise to this space  

    I think it is a waste of time, focus and $.   Lot of other folks are already spending billions creating content and they are all already in the App store  
    While I’m unsure of the services revenue potential, I don’t pretend to be anything other than ignorant of the strategy. How many executive meetings have you sat in where they went over the details? I haven’t been to any. So not sure how some randoms on a rumor site can pretend to know whether it makes sense. 
  • Reply 17 of 18
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,509member
    Notsofast said:
    red oak said:
    I don't see any discernible, organized strategy here by Apple.   It seems like a mishmash of random shows.    Apple does not bring any competitive advantage or internal expertise to this space  

    I think it is a waste of time, focus and $.   Lot of other folks are already spending billions creating content and they are all already in the App store  
    You're missing the forest for the trees. Apple tried to simply license content into streaming package, etc.  Problem is that content owners decided, probably correctly, that owning streaming themselves was better for them.  Thus, content is getting more and more locked up, e.g., streaming service by Disney, original content by major competitors, cable service buying up content, etc.  Without more control over content, Apple risks being locked out and  losing increasing billions in service revenue and ecosystem tie in. Money that Apple will make from selling content is just one part of the equation.  

    You're right that billions are being spent on creating content, but that much of that content is mostly not available in App store in a way that benefits Apple beyond helping sell some Apple TV's, e.g., Amazon Prime and Netflix. Even that access is fragile as shown by Amazon refusing to install a Prime App, which they could pull in the future. 

    Fortunately, content producing is largely a game of numbers/money as they are all competing for the same producers, directors, etc., to produce content for them, and Apple has the money to get the content they want. 
    This is in-line with my view based on being involved on the tech side in the streaming media industry for a number of years.  I think Apple has determined that they need to be "at the table" with their own key content, in order to have some leverage to work with other content providers.  One cannot just license any content with a big paycheque - as you note Apple has tried the license route and could not get the rights/features they want.  With their own content (if - and it is reasonable to be skeptical - it is of top quality), they could have more leverage to use that core for a new service.

    Despite the headlines, I doubt Apple is looking at video distribution for the revenue - certainly not the profit - look at Netflix.  It is about having a service which can make their devices more valuable.  Just like Apple Music (breakeven at best on its own).  The more viable video services available, the more an aggregation platform like Apple devices has value (if just a duopoly, there is less).

    There are two ways that Apple getting into their own content can help:
    - Ability to license other content (seat at the table) to flesh out a core streaming service.
    - With own streaming service, better ability to have some leverage with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc, to build/allow features which make the Apple TV and TV apps more useful (right now Netflix and Amazon do not play ball so much).


  • Reply 18 of 18
    red oak said:
    I don't see any discernible, organized strategy here by Apple.   It seems like a mishmash of random shows.    Apple does not bring any competitive advantage or internal expertise to this space  

    I think it is a waste of time, focus and $.   Lot of other folks are already spending billions creating content and they are all already in the App store  



    Just because you don’t see doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  
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