Apple Joins the Streaming Age

By: Brandon T. McClure

Apple is about to join the streaming game. Last week Apple unveiled Apple TV+, a new home for original content. This has been a long time coming for the tech giant as they have been accumulating original shows from top creators for some time now. Everyone from Sam Raimi to Steven Spielberg are developing shows for the new platform, making it a force to be reckoned with right out of the gate.

On March 25th, Apple announced Apple TV+ as it’s new home for “the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries.” Dropping this fall, the service will be home to high concept shows such as See with Jason Momoa (Aquaman), a story about a world where the entire human population is blind, and Time Bandits by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) an adaptation of the classic 1981 Terry Gilliam film.

Multiple series’ are in various stages of development, but some of the ones showcased in their presentation were the anthology series Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg, the historical drama series Dickinson with Hailee Steinfeld (Bumblebee), and the alternate reality sci-fi series For All Mankind by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica). So far no release dates have been given but it would be fair to assume some of these shows will debut with the launch of the service to make it more enticing for the general audience.

It’s not easy to compete with streaming giants like Netflix or Amazon. A few years ago, the largest geek convention in the world, San Diego Comic Con International (or SDCCI), partnered with Lionsgate to launch Comic Con HQ. Even with a few original programs (Including one starring Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill), plus access to cult classic shows like Hercules and Andromeda (both starring Kevin Sorbo), the service failed to find an audience and shut down in late 2017. Filmstruck was another service that recently closed up shop. Even though it contained a vast library of classic films from the Criterion collection, AT&T decided it couldn’t compete and shut it down.

With WarnerMedia and Disney launching new services later this year, the market will only get more competitive as they all try to lure audiences to add another subscription. The two mentioned, along with Apple TV+ will join Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and Amazon to name a few, in a fast growing market. Still, insiders claim that Apple is setting aside two billion dollars for the service, which includes costs of producing the thirty plus new shows. According to Business Insider “Apple TV+ may be in the red for years before it hits a critical mass of users to make it sustainable on its own merits.”

No pricing for the plan has been given, but it’s likely the plan will start around ten dollars and go up from there depending on the demand for the service. While Apple is putting a lot of money into high and low concept shows, there is no guarantee that the service will draw in audiences. CBS All Access faced a similar fate when it launched, but now with multiple Star Trek shows on the horizon and a rebooted Twilight Zone, they seem to be on steady footing. With more people cord cutting every day, it wouldn’t be wise to write off any new service that is willing to offer a wide variety of new and original content. Perhaps Apple’s new service will become a new heavy hitter in this streaming age.

 

Follow Brandon at @BTMcClure or on the Fake Nerd Podcast and Mythellaneous on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

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