October 23, 2018
Apple reportedly is set to launch an online TV service in more than 100 countries the first half of 2019. The service would include original programming, in addition to third-party apps similar to Amazon Channels in the United States, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to TheInformation.com, which cited sources familiar with the situation.
The service would appear to target SVOD giants Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which currently operate in 190 and 200 countries, respectively.
While an innovator in consumer electronics, computers and digital entertainment distribution, Apple has moved slowly in over-the-top video. The Apple TV streaming device lags behind market leader Roku in market penetration, according to Parks Associates.
Despite a war chest exceeding $200 billion in cash, Apple has allocated just $1 billion on original content spending in 2018 – an amount less than what Hulu is spending, in addition to market behemoths Netflix ($12 billion) and Amazon ($5 billion).
Apple Oct. 23 announced that Steve Carell (“The Office,” The 40-Year-Old Virgin) is joining Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston’s unnamed morning TV series. The show marks Carell’s first episodic content work in five years.
“It makes sense for Apple to position its subscription service as a way to make television viewing easier for customers, rather than try to go head-to-head with Amazon and Netflix on original programming,” Tim Nollen, analyst at Macquarie, told the website. “Having the ability to make life easier for consumers in this fragmented, over-the-top marketplace makes sense.”