Apple Raises Monthly TV+, Music, Bundle Subscription Prices

Apple has raised the monthly subscription price for its vaunted Apple Music streaming service, in addition to Apple TV+ and the Apple One bundle, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+.

Apple TV+, which hasn’t raised its $4.99 fee since launching in November 2019, now costs $6.99. Apple Music, one of the largest music streaming services in the world, now costs $10.99, from $9.99, while Apple One increases $2 to $16.95.

In a statement, Apple said the price hike to the music streaming was due to an increase in licensing costs, which the company said would translate to increased royalties for artists and songwriters. Apple said the TV+ introductory price was due to the platform launching with limited shows and movies.

“Three years later, Apple TV+ is home to an extensive selection of award-winning and broadly acclaimed series, feature films, documentaries, and kids and family entertainment from the world’s most creative storytellers,” the company said.

Indeed, Apple TV+ earlier this year became the first streaming service to win the Best Picture Oscar with CODA.

Apple reports third-quarter fiscal results on Oct. 27.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Print Goes Video in New Flipboard TV Streaming Service

In a competitive move against Apple News, online news aggregator Flipboard announced the launch of Flipboard TV, a curated video service inside the Flipboard app featuring content from publisher partners and local TV stations.

The ad-supported platform, which launches on Samsung Galaxy S20 phones, debuts with 16 channels, featuring video from publishers including The Associated Press, Bonnier Corporation, Bustle Digital Group, Digital Trends, Hearst Magazines, Lonely Planet, Mansueto Ventures and McClatchy.

These new partnerships support existing programming, which includes videos from Dow Jones, Hearst Television, Penske Media, American Media, Bloomberg Media and The Recount.

Follow us on Instagram

Print contributors include Elle, Seventeen, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Delish, Clevver News, Clevver Style, Popular Mechanics, Women’s Health; Mansueto Ventures, the parent company of Fast Company and Inc. magazines; and Bustle Digital Group, which operates nine media brands, including Bustle, Elite Daily, Mic, NYLON, Input, Inverse, Romper, The Outline, The Zoe Report.

“The interest we’re getting from publishers to collaborate to develop an ad-fee subscription service for video content is encouraging,” Claus Enevoldsen, VP of business development at Flipboard, said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In a rapidly changing media landscape, print publishers are moving into high-quality video they hope will make their brands more discoverable among video consumers.

‘The market seems to be getting used to paying for premium content, which makes me bullish about our [AVOD] model for Flipboard TV,” Enevoldsen said.

Indeed, participation of McClatchy and its 30 newsrooms, including the Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee  newspapers, which includes video from dozens of local news stations from groups like Hearst Television, comes at an opportune time for the media company. It filed for bankruptcy last month, citing declines in print advertising and more than $700 million in debt.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Flipboard and congratulate them on this innovative launch,” said Angela Lunter, senior director, business strategy and operations at McClatchy. “Flipboard is well positioned to build on its knowledge of delivering curated content by adding video to its offerings. We appreciate the team’s efforts to elevate local news in this new service.”


Apple Drops Subscription Gaming Platform Price, Eyeing Content Bundles

Apple, like much of the tech world, has gone to a subscription-based business model to offset slowing iPhone sales.

In addition to launching Apple TV+, Apple bowed gaming-themed Apple Arcade and news-based Apple News+. Now, the company is cutting $10 from Arcade when paying the full $49 annual price compared to the $4.99 monthly fee.

Arcade aims to offer myriad online games (playable on iPhone, iPad, etc.) akin to what Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video do with movies and TV shows. Notable titles include Where Cards Fall, Grindstone, What the Golf? and Sayonara Wild Herts, among others.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Apple is also reportedly considering bundling platforms similarly to what Disney is doing with Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ and what Amazon does with Amazon Channels. The idea, as reported by Bloomberg, would bundle Apple Music, Apple News+ and Apple TV+ for a discounted price beginning in 2020.

The idea has apparently been met with pushback from traditional news publishers leery of giving away more of their shrinking margins. Apple currently pockets 50% of all subscription revenue, while the remainder is split among publishers depending on the number of eyeballs to their content.

Follow us on Instagram

CNBC reports that consumer interest in Apple News+ — unlike Apple Music — has been limited due in large part to increasing numbers of people getting their news from social media and alternative online sources for free.

Apple Ups Q2 ‘Services’ Revenue to Record $11.5 Billion

Apple April 30 reported record “services” revenue of $11.5 billion, up more than 16% from revenue of $9.13 billion during the previous-year period.

As the media/tech giant shifts its focus from hardware products such as iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, among others, it has upped scrutiny on services, which include sales of digital movies and TV shows on iTunes and Apple TV, in addition to the pending rollout of Apple TV+ app and separate subscription streaming video service.

“Our March quarter [services] results show the continued strength of our installed base of over 1.4 billion active devices,” CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Cook eyes Apple’s install base as the genesis for the future success of AppleTV+ and related Apple business ventures such as Apple News, Apple Pay (including branded credit card), Apple Arcade (gaming) and Apple Music.

Indeed, Apple said sales of its legacy iPhone declined nearly 18% to $31 billion from $37.5 billion during the previous-year period. The attributed the decline to 21.5% drop in unit sales in China – a slight improvement from 26.7% unit drop in the prior-year quarter.

Mac revenue dipped 4% to $5.5 billion, while iPad sales revenue increased 21.5% to $4.8 billion.

Net revenue fell about 5% to $58 billion from $61.1 billion. Net income fell almost 17% to $11.5 billion from $13.8 billion.