February 13, 2019
When it comes to streaming video, Apple has largely been a spectator. In fact, the late Steve Jobs infamously considered Apple TV a “hobby.”
But the company synonymous with consumer electronics innovation is spearheading a major push into OTT video this year, including spending more than $1 billion on original content.
With a brand as powerful as Disney’s, Apple apparently believes it is worth a lot in the OTT ecosystem.
CEO Tim Cook said as much on the recent fiscal call.
“We see huge changes in customer behavior taking place now and we think that it will accelerate as the year goes by with the breakdown of the cable bundle,” he said. “I think that it’ll likely take place at a much faster pace this year.”
Indeed, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is upping the ante for third-parties along for the streaming ride on its platform — reportedly set to launch by May without heavyweights Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now.
While both brands are available on the Apple TV streaming media device, CNBC reports the new platform will operate similarly to Amazon Channels as facilitator to original and third-party OTT services — the latter for a cut of the subscriber action.
Apple, which gets 15% commission per third-party subscriber generated through the App store, now wants 30% per sub on the new platform, according to CNBC. The Wall Street Journal previously reported Apple is looking at a 50% split for its pending news streaming service.
Apparently, Netflix, Hulu and HBO aren’t biting, while Lionsgate-owned Starz, Showtime OTT and Viacom are. HBO, Starz and Showtime are available on Amazon Channels.