Apple launches pay TV service, Apple TV Plus

Global Business

Apple launches pay TV service, Apple TV Plus

Apple is getting into another new market. On November 1, the tech giant will launch Apple TV Plus—its own streaming service with its own original content.

CGTN’s Mark Niu has the details.

Apple has attracted Hollywood stars like Jason Momoa, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell to star in its original productions.

At $5 a month, the Apple TV Pluse streaming service is being considered by Fabian Santos, who already subscribes to Netflix and is eagerly awaiting Disney’s new streaming service. 

“I’m an Apple user and I saw some of the trailers. Everything looks very good,” said Santos “If you get all the services it’s going to be a lot of money. You have to choose the services that have more to do with you.”

“The fundamental issue is that there are only nine shows,” said Bob O’Donnell, Chief Analyst at TECHnalysis Research. “And people are used to a much wider variety of choices. So it’s going to be interesting to see how people react. Clearly, there is going to be a lot of initial excitement, but how quickly people fade from that is the real question mark.”

That lack of content is a major disadvantage as Apple battles the market leader Netflix and Disney Plus, which launches November 12th. 

Netflix costs $9 a month and Disney will be $7. But Netflix started its own original content six years ago.

And Disney already has an extensive library of family shows, including the Marvel Superheroes and Star Wars franchises.

But with a reported budget of six billion dollars, Apple TV Pluse has more in store, like shows from celebrity icon Oprah Winfrey and director Steven Spielberg on the way.

“They are spending a lot of money on these shows. It’s definitely a risky bet,” said O’Donnell. “This is like the old days of the music business. You can get a hit, but you may not.” 

Apple does have some advantages.

It has devices in the hands of more than a billion users who with a few taps, can start watching Apple’s shows almost instantly.

“A lot of people think this is going head-on against Netflix, Roku. It’s not,” Ray Wang, Principal Analyst at Constellation Research said.  “This is an “and” strategy. Most people are going to subscribe to, at most, three streaming services. They aren’t trying to replace every single movie known to mankind, or I’ve got a TV studio that’s got an entire library that they want to create. They are part of a system where they are one content channel within the Apple TV family.”

Apple TV Plus also adds a powerful tool to its arsenal of services.

Many users wonder if it will eventually wrap its iCloud storage, Apple Music, and Apple TV Plus together for one low price.

“There’s a lot of questions as to whether they’ll bundle those services into a bigger package, to family plans for groups,” said Wang. “I think that will happen over time. Apple traditionally takes a very cautious approach. They launch a product, see how it does, figure out when it makes sense to cut over to the next price point.”

A low-priced bundle sounded much more attractive to potential customer Fabian Santos.

“It’s very tempting. I can even consider changing from Spotify to Apple Music, because I’m a Spotify user,” said Santos. “So, if they actually make a whole package like that, it’s very tempting for sure.”

Santos was even more tempted when he found out about an Apple promotion to lure new customers—buy any new Apple device and it comes with a one-year Apple TV Plus subscription for free.