Apple sent out press invites on Monday for a 25 March event with a intriguing title: “It’s show time.” The Cupertino company has long been rumoured to debut a TV/video streaming subscription service, taking on the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, among others.
It is also expect to introduce a paid news subscription service riding on Apple News. Last year, Apple acquired a magazine subscription service called Texture.
Taking on the likes of video streaming giants Netflix and Hulu is no mean feat. That said, if there was one entity that has the muscle to take on the incumbents, it would be Apple.
If the meteoric rise of Apple Music is any indication, then competitors should be afraid, be very afraid. Apple Music now has over 56 million subscribers (November 2018), approximately 64 percent of Spotify’s paid users.
Apple’s move into the video streaming space is not unexpected. While it wasn’t physically present at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, its presence was felt nonetheless; Apple partnered major TV makers including Samsung, LG and Sony to add the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app and content to smart TVs. Additionally, selected Smart TVs will include AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support.
With a slump in iPhone and Mac hardware sales, Apple’s Services business is a new focus and a key revenue driver for the company. During the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018, the Services segment brought in USD10 billion in revenue, an all-time high and also up 17 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Apple does not break down revenue of its Apple Services category that includes iTunes, the Apple Store, Mac App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and Apple Care.
The company may also unveil new hardware – perhaps the seventh-generation iPad, fifth-generation iPad mini and others.
We’ll know more on 25 March. Exciting times ahead!