Apple to start new video service with free original content for device users - report

Thursday 11 October 2018 | 09:21 CET | News
Apple hopes to next year introduce a new digital video service that will include both original Apple content and subscriptions to outside services, such as HBO or Starz, CNBC reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The service would be free to Apple device owners, though they would still have to pay for the outside subscriptions. Talk started in May that Apple wanted to sell subscriptions to certain video services directly from its TV app, rather than have customers go through the apps individually downloaded from the App Store. 

The company is currently developing original content and will be spending about USD 1 billion on that this year, targeting "PG-rated" or “wholesome” shows with a wide appeal and that can indeed be shown free, without worrying that adult content will fall in the hands of young children. Some sources said the company is hoping to score a few hit franchises that it could then use as a selling point for a future Netflix-like paid subscription service. Reports in the Wall Street Journal noted last month that the company has about 24 original shows in production and development. 

Apple has tasked Peter Stern to sign contracts with media companies for the new service, other sources said. Stern, who reports to Apple's software and services chief Eddy Cue, was Time Warner Cable’s chief strategy officer. He helped sell the company, first to Comcast, though the deal got blocked by regulators, and then to Charter. He left in 2016 after Charter's takeover closed. Apple is hoping Stern will not scare off media companies like Cue might. Cue was the one that pushed the sale of individual songs, ushering in the era of streaming music and depressing album sales. 

Stern is also in charge of acquiring content for Texture, Apple’s digital magazine. He is trying to persuade executives of print media companies to come on board, a hard task, as some news organisations don’t want to give Apple control of the subscriber billing relationship, some sources said. Keeping direct control of the purchasing decisions of customers makes it easier to prevent them from canceling services, or adding new ones. 

The Information reported in June that Apple was looking to create a single subscription offering that would include original TV shows, music and magazine articles. 

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Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: Apple
Countries: United States / World
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