US tech giant Apple announced its new selection of media offerings at a conference in Cupertino, California, which includes its highly anticipated streaming service Apple TV+, an app that will assemble streaming channels all in one place.
In addition and probably more relevant to publishers is the introduction of Apple News+, a premium news subscription service which has been integrated into the company’s existing Apple News app.
Is content king?
Breaking the products down, the new Apple TV+ streaming service aims to capitalise on the growing OTT market. The app takes over from the previous version of Apple TV and will house channels such as Hulu, ESPN, Showtime and HBO and exist within smart TVs and on Mac computers later this year.
During the conference, Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook commented the TV app will host “hundreds” of channels and the Apple News+ subscription service will feature more than 300 publications and prominent news outlets.
Magazines on Apple News are available on a $10 per month subscription while the service is reportedly available in over 100 countries.
“One billion dollars in content alone will not guarantee success in the crowded OTT market,” Dallas Lawrence, chief brand officer for OpenX.
Lawrence added that Apple could capitalise on its media offerings if they can crack the ‘skinny bundle’ model for content.
“One area where Apple will find receptivity in the market is around what appears to be an effort to build a new ‘skinny bundle’ model for content. Users do not want 200 channels,” he said; “The 15 /10 rule applies to most OTT users: They want a maximum of 15 channels and they are willing to pay around $10 per channel for the ability to access that content when and where they want it. If Apple can crack the skinny bundle code and deliver a unique and holistic OTT ecosystem for consumers they could very well become the primary disruptive force in streaming video.”
Apple News+ will feature from publications such as The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, along with other sports, news and entertainment publications. However, titles The New York Times and The Washington Post had not been featured due to reported differences over revenue sharing.
The news feature launches in the US and Canada followed by Australia and the UK later this year.
A key theme highlighted during the presentation was data privacy where Apple stated that none of the data from each of the streaming services will be shared with third-parties while no ads will run on any of the services. The tech company has continued its stance on privacy data following its Intelligent Tracking Prevention update within Safari last year, restricting third-party data tracking.
“The reality is that anonymous cookies form the backbone of the digital advertising business and help pay for the journalism and content consumers love. These cookies contain no personal information and cannot be associated with real people or their private information, Ari Paparo, CEO of ad tech company Beeswax said to the Drum.
"Unfortunately, ad tech companies are an easy scapegoat to help companies like Apple try to seem more customer-centric in competition with Google and others, as well as for ill-informed regulators to try to tackle this complex issue,” she added.