Apple's streaming video hits iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV for free in early 2019

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple is reportedly narrowing in on a way of serving up its slate of high-budget TV shows, the plan being to pair its original content with subscriptions from outside companies.

iOS 11 TV app


An Apple service will be highlighted in the "TV" app pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV, sources told CNBC. People who own one of those devices will be able to watch Apple-owned shows for free, but the company is allegedly planning to offer access to subscription "channels" for outside online services.

As a part of the effort, Apple is expected to launch an overhauled version of the TV app early next year.

Further on, Apple is hoping to score "tent pole" shows that could prop up its own paid service akin to Netflix, the sources added. These would however follow the company's philosophy of aiming for family-friendly content, meaning it won't have an equivalent of "Game of Thrones," "Mindhunter," or other draws to services like HBO and Netflix.

Apple has tasked Time Warner Cable's former chief strategy officer, Peter Stern, with forging the contracts it needs to assemble a service. Stern is also said to be in charge of attracting publications to Texture, the magazine subscription service it picked up earlier in 2018, but dealing with resistance to giving Apple control of the subscribing billing relationship, since they would rather have their own ways of deterring cancellations.

Rumors that Apple's TV shows would be free perks in the "TV" app have been around for some time, but until now it wasn't clear how the company might make money on the prospect. Apple is believed to be spending at least $1 billion on its first wave.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,151member
    Didn't see that coming.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    It makes sense. A lot of sense. The devices are what Apple needs to sell. Anything that makes the devices more appealing, including content, will do that. Like Amazon - content is basically a marketing expense. That's the difference between a traditional media company (where I worked for years) and Amazon and Apple. They don't need to make a profit on a show or movie. That is good and bad. It's scary for traditional media producers because they can only make content, or they must mostly make content that people are willing to pay for just to see that content. It's what I would have suspected. I'm not sure Apple would ever launch a stand alone content service for a fee. Sell devices. Make profit. Make stuff people can watch on the devices and only on those devices, maybe sell more devices. 
    jbdragonbb-15
  • Reply 3 of 29
    It makes sense. A lot of sense. The devices are what Apple needs to sell. Anything that makes the devices more appealing, including content, will do that. Like Amazon - content is basically a marketing expense. That's the difference between a traditional media company (where I worked for years) and Amazon and Apple. They don't need to make a profit on a show or movie. That is good and bad. It's scary for traditional media producers because they can only make content, or they must mostly make content that people are willing to pay for just to see that content. It's what I would have suspected. I'm not sure Apple would ever launch a stand alone content service for a fee. Sell devices. Make profit. Make stuff people can watch on the devices and only on those devices, maybe sell more devices. 
    True but it seems like the opposite of what Wall Street wants. And with hardware sales basically flat hoodies Apple increase services revenues if their content is free? If this report is true what it tells me is Apple executives aren’t confident the original programming they have is good enough that people will want to pay for it.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    Apple is reeeally late to the ball game.  Netflix and Amazon have been doing this for quite a while, and their still playing catch-up with the major players.

    Luckly for Apple they have a @#$& load of money to throw at the problem.

    It might be best if Apple just buys Sony, who has some interesting assets, to kickstart the effort.

    Apple doesn’t like spending in big chunks, but it would pay off in the long run.


  • Reply 5 of 29
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,151member
    It makes sense. A lot of sense. The devices are what Apple needs to sell. Anything that makes the devices more appealing, including content, will do that. Like Amazon - content is basically a marketing expense. That's the difference between a traditional media company (where I worked for years) and Amazon and Apple. They don't need to make a profit on a show or movie. That is good and bad. It's scary for traditional media producers because they can only make content, or they must mostly make content that people are willing to pay for just to see that content. It's what I would have suspected. I'm not sure Apple would ever launch a stand alone content service for a fee. Sell devices. Make profit. Make stuff people can watch on the devices and only on those devices, maybe sell more devices. 
    It kinda does, but I wouldn't have predicted it. OTOH, I can see Amazon simply giving devices away. Anything that makes it easy for someone to spend money is something you want broad access to. "Here's a free Kindle with the purchase of 10 books/ a subscription/whatevs." Or "Here's an echo thingy. Tell it what you want to buy, and after you buy $1000 of crap with it, we return the price to your account." 

    I can also see a subscription ad service. Set up a preferences for ads, and when those run during some content, the ad buy pays the viewer some nominal amount - 1 penny per minute of ads or some discounts or the like. 

    People like free stuff, and will kill for rewards and air miles.
    edited October 10
  • Reply 6 of 29
    claire1claire1 Posts: 460unconfirmed, member
    If their movies hit theaters first then they can make a profit that way.

    I always dreamed of free Apple TV content but IDK if this is the case here. Remember none of this is confirmed and they may have a free 90 day trial like Apple Music which may explain the "free" tag. The service being exclusive to Apple devices will still generate sales but free content would make sales go through the roof! Something Apple TV needs!
  • Reply 7 of 29
    rcfarcfa Posts: 713member
    “Family friendly” :D

    Sorry, but don’t be in the world of being profitable, unless you’re trying to sell a gay CEO to evangelists, with family friendly content. You might as well buy the Disney Channel.

    Most people are sexually suppressed, frustrated, and they seek sex and violence/power to compensate for what’s missing in their life.

    Apple: get used to it, you’re a channel, not a guardian. Leave the latter to the police...
  • Reply 8 of 29
    rcfa said:
    “Family friendly” :D

    Sorry, but don’t be in the world of being profitable, unless you’re trying to sell a gay CEO to evangelists, with family friendly content. You might as well buy the Disney Channel.

    Most people are sexually suppressed, frustrated, and they seek sex and violence/power to compensate for what’s missing in their life.

    Apple: get used to it, you’re a channel, not a guardian. Leave the latter to the police...
    It’s sad that people are so lost that the very concept of having a channel that the whole family can watch together is stupid. Wow, just wow!

    StrangeDaysclaire1applemagicJanNLbeowulfschmidtrazorpithcrefugeebb-15
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Apple is reeeally late to the ball game.  Netflix and Amazon have been doing this for quite a while, and their still playing catch-up with the major players.
    So when will Amazon content stop sucking so bad? Seriously, it could vanish tomorrow and I doubt anyone would care. So far its only use to me has been to watch shows from other networks - Vikings, The Americans, etc. 
    edited October 10 claire1
  • Reply 10 of 29

    rcfa said:
    “Family friendly” :D

    Sorry, but don’t be in the world of being profitable, unless you’re trying to sell a gay CEO to evangelists, with family friendly content. You might as well buy the Disney Channel.

    Most people are sexually suppressed, frustrated, and they seek sex and violence/power to compensate for what’s missing in their life.

    Apple: get used to it, you’re a channel, not a guardian. Leave the latter to the police...
    Nobody said they’re a guardian. Channels are free to produce the art and content they’re interested in. Home Improvement Network doesn’t need R-rated content. Nor have most networks. It works for some channels and doesn’t for others. Getting upset that Apple won’t produce its own R-rated original content is one of the silliest things I’ve come across in some time. 
    bonobobPickUrPoisonclaire1applemagicrazorpit
  • Reply 11 of 29
    joeljrichardsjoeljrichards Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    I was/am kind of hoping the new video content gets rolled in a bonus for subscribers of other services (iCloud, Apple Music, or some "triple-play" bundle). However, as someone who already owns mostly Apple devices, and who appreciates "family friendly" content, I'm not upset about getting access for "free".
    claire1
  • Reply 12 of 29
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,863member
    claire1 said:
    If their movies hit theaters first then they can make a profit that way.

    I always dreamed of free Apple TV content but IDK if this is the case here. Remember none of this is confirmed and they may have a free 90 day trial like Apple Music which may explain the "free" tag. The service being exclusive to Apple devices will still generate sales but free content would make sales go through the roof! Something Apple TV needs!
    My thinking was it would be FREE as part of your Apple Music subscription. But if it's just free to sell more Apple hardware, even better. I doubt Apple is making much of a profit from Apple Music, but it helps sell more hardware. Apple is making their money from hardware. FREE Family friendly means you're now getting the kids into the act in selling more hardware. More Apple TV's and iPad's for the kids to use to watch that free kid friendly content. Not having to worry about them somehow getting into more adult type content.

    A billion or so in content is nothing for Apple and would generate more sales. It's still a tiny fraction of what Netflix spends in 1 year.
    edited October 10 claire1bb-15
  • Reply 13 of 29
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 369member
    genovelle said:
    rcfa said:
    “Family friendly” :D

    Sorry, but don’t be in the world of being profitable, unless you’re trying to sell a gay CEO to evangelists, with family friendly content. You might as well buy the Disney Channel.

    Most people are sexually suppressed, frustrated, and they seek sex and violence/power to compensate for what’s missing in their life.

    Apple: get used to it, you’re a channel, not a guardian. Leave the latter to the police...
    It’s sad that people are so lost that the very concept of having a channel that the whole family can watch together is stupid. Wow, just wow!

    Why choose?  Can’t the same “channel” show both? Restricting itself to “family friendly” mush will ensure that Apple’s video effort never challenges the likes of Netflix or Amazon. And perhaps that’s not their goal anyway. Technology solves the problem of restricting content. Shows can be rated. Kids and parents have separate logins. Add FaceID to the Apple TV and the box can detect who is watching.

    A huge chunk of Apple’s customers are college age and up, unmarried, without kids.  And plenty more parents would probably enjoy some good grown up entertainment after the kids are in bed. It just seems foolish for Apple to limit themselves in this way. Most people in Hollywood aren’t itching to work for the Disney Channel. If Apple wants to attract talent, they can’t (and shouldn’t anyway!) play nanny.  They’ve already lost people over creative differences and their shows haven’t even launched. 
    danh
  • Reply 14 of 29
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 369member
    I was/am kind of hoping the new video content gets rolled in a bonus for subscribers of other services (iCloud, Apple Music, or some "triple-play" bundle). However, as someone who already owns mostly Apple devices, and who appreciates "family friendly" content, I'm not upset about getting access for "free".
    “Free” is the only way I’m going to watch inoffensive, sanitized, PG content. I’ll definiteky check out a few of their upcoming shows if they are free, but the whole “family friendly” angle just sounds way too boring to pay for it.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 369member
    jbdragon said:
    claire1 said:
    If their movies hit theaters first then they can make a profit that way.

    I always dreamed of free Apple TV content but IDK if this is the case here. Remember none of this is confirmed and they may have a free 90 day trial like Apple Music which may explain the "free" tag. The service being exclusive to Apple devices will still generate sales but free content would make sales go through the roof! Something Apple TV needs!
    My thinking was it would be FREE as part of your Apple Music subscription. But if it's just free to sell more Apple hardware, even better. I doubt Apple is making much of a profit from Apple Music, but it helps sell more hardware. Apple is making their money from hardware. FREE Family friendly means you're now getting the kids into the act in selling more hardware. More Apple TV's and iPad's for the kids to use to watch that free kid friendly content. Not having to worry about them somehow getting into more adult type content.

    A billion or so in content is nothing for Apple and would generate more sales. It's still a tiny fraction of what Netflix spends in 1 year.

    What’s interesting is that many of the shows they’re producing don’t sound particularly appealing to kids.  How many kids want to watch a show about a morning talk show, for example?  I don’t think Apple is looking to challenge Disney for the kid dollars. Their shows are going to be adult in nature, but probably restricted in the same ways as network TV in terms of language and nudity. Cook apparently likes shows like Friday Night Lights. I think that’s the sort of flavor to expect from their productions. In other words, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,172member
    It makes sense. A lot of sense. The devices are what Apple needs to sell. Anything that makes the devices more appealing, including content, will do that. Like Amazon - content is basically a marketing expense. That's the difference between a traditional media company (where I worked for years) and Amazon and Apple. They don't need to make a profit on a show or movie. That is good and bad. It's scary for traditional media producers because they can only make content, or they must mostly make content that people are willing to pay for just to see that content. It's what I would have suspected. I'm not sure Apple would ever launch a stand alone content service for a fee. Sell devices. Make profit. Make stuff people can watch on the devices and only on those devices, maybe sell more devices. 
    Except what else does Apple give away for free? Content costs an enormous amount of money compared to the profits they're going to make on an Apple TV or an iPad. And who's going to switch their ecosystem for entertainment? I mean it's possible, but it hasn't made a dent on me buying into Fire TV to get Amazon Prime.

    This just undermines many arguments that Apple shouldn't give something away for free, however little it costs them, like a 3.5mm headphone adapter. If Apple produces quality content, people will subscribe to it. If they don't, giving it away for free doesn't help anybody. 
  • Reply 17 of 29
    claire1claire1 Posts: 460unconfirmed, member
    rcfa said:
    “Family friendly” :D

    Sorry, but don’t be in the world of being profitable, unless you’re trying to sell a gay CEO to evangelists, with family friendly content. You might as well buy the Disney Channel.

    Most people are sexually suppressed, frustrated, and they seek sex and violence/power to compensate for what’s missing in their life.

    Apple: get used to it, you’re a channel, not a guardian. Leave the latter to the police...
    Wow someone call Disney! This guy has some marketing knowledge! If they don't listen to this guy, Disney can be out of business next week!!!!!!

    People complaining about possible FREE content. I this U2 album 2.0?

    jbdragon said:
    claire1 said:
    If their movies hit theaters first then they can make a profit that way.

    I always dreamed of free Apple TV content but IDK if this is the case here. Remember none of this is confirmed and they may have a free 90 day trial like Apple Music which may explain the "free" tag. The service being exclusive to Apple devices will still generate sales but free content would make sales go through the roof! Something Apple TV needs!
    My thinking was it would be FREE as part of your Apple Music subscription. But if it's just free to sell more Apple hardware, even better. I doubt Apple is making much of a profit from Apple Music, but it helps sell more hardware. Apple is making their money from hardware. FREE Family friendly means you're now getting the kids into the act in selling more hardware. More Apple TV's and iPad's for the kids to use to watch that free kid friendly content. Not having to worry about them somehow getting into more adult type content.

    A billion or so in content is nothing for Apple and would generate more sales. It's still a tiny fraction of what Netflix spends in 1 year.

    About the kids not running into adult content, this problem is HUGE with Youtube and even Netflix.

    robbyx said:
    Why choose?  Can’t the same “channel” show both? Restricting itself to “family friendly” mush will ensure that Apple’s video effort never challenges the likes of Netflix or Amazon. And perhaps that’s not their goal anyway. Technology solves the problem of restricting content. Shows can be rated. Kids and parents have separate logins. Add FaceID to the Apple TV and the box can detect who is watching.

    Unfortunately this doesn't NOT work on Netflix!

    I spent so much time trying to block Sausage Party from the kids only to find out you can't.
    Netflix has this stupid(and I mean S-T-U-P-I-D) "restrict content" option that only restricts R-rated content from Netflix originals. Anything else cannot be blocked and is not blocked when you "block" it.

    What a fu**ing mess!

    irelandStrangeDaysbb-15
  • Reply 18 of 29
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,034member
    It makes sense. A lot of sense. The devices are what Apple needs to sell. Anything that makes the devices more appealing, including content, will do that. Like Amazon - content is basically a marketing expense. That's the difference between a traditional media company (where I worked for years) and Amazon and Apple. They don't need to make a profit on a show or movie. That is good and bad. It's scary for traditional media producers because they can only make content, or they must mostly make content that people are willing to pay for just to see that content. It's what I would have suspected. I'm not sure Apple would ever launch a stand alone content service for a fee. Sell devices. Make profit. Make stuff people can watch on the devices and only on those devices, maybe sell more devices. 
    True but it seems like the opposite of what Wall Street wants. And with hardware sales basically flat hoodies Apple increase services revenues if their content is free? If this report is true what it tells me is Apple executives aren’t confident the original programming they have is good enough that people will want to pay for it.
    One can always expect the exact same concern-trolling, hand-wringing, sky-is-falling post from you. Same in every fucking thread, for the last decade it seems, no matter the subject matter. Impressive consistency, really. 

    StrangeDaysbb-15
  • Reply 19 of 29
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 369member
    The big question in my mind is, will Apple kill the AppleTV App Store?  AppleTV has clearly failed as a gaming device.  We haven’t seen any particularly innovative, “must have” AppleTV apps emerge either.  Every time I look at the App Store, it’s the same stuff. I’ve already downloaded all of the media apps I need. The games are weak and I don’t see anything else of interest. Are there ANY worthwhile AppleTV apps that aren’t media services?

    If Apple is planning to revamp the TV app and allow customers to subscribe to channels/services from within the app, what’s the point of the App Store?  It becomes unnecessary. Could the next version of AppleTV be just a media streamer built around the TV app?
  • Reply 20 of 29
    That gives me hope that the TV app will roll out to other countries now!
    ireland
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