Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks to the media in San Jose, California. Associated Press
NEW YORK: Apple is expected to announce Monday that it’s launching a video service that could compete with Netflix, Amazon and cable TV itself. It’s a long-awaited attempt from the iPhone maker, several years after Netflix turned “binge watching” into a worldwide phenomenon.
The new video service is expected to have original TV shows and movies that reportedly cost Apple more than $1 billion - far less than Netflix and HBO spend every year. Also expected is a subscription service consisting of news, entertainment and sports bundled from newspapers and magazines.
Apple is making the announcements at its Cupertino, California, headquarters during an event likely to be studded with Hollywood celebrities.
The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline. The company is pushing digital subscriptions as it searches for new growth.
Making must-have TV shows and movies that are watchable on any device has propelled Netflix into a force in both Silicon Valley and Hollywood. But Apple remained focused on making on gadgets: iPhones, iPads, computers and its Apple TV streaming box for TVs. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs began toying with the idea of building a powerful TV business, but he couldn’t pull it off before his death in 2011. It has taken his successor, CEO Tim Cook, nearly eight years to draw up the script that the company will now try to execute.
“Apple is very late to this game,” eMarketer analyst Paul Verna said. “Netflix has become the gold standard in how to create and distribute content, using all the data they have about their viewers.”