Apple TV+ Can Coexist with Netflix, Cook Says

Posted on May 1, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Music + Videos with 31 Comments

In a post-earnings conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his firm’s coming video service can coexist with Netflix and other competitors.

“There’s a huge move from the cable bundle to over-the-top,” Mr. Cook said during the call, referring to cord cutting streaming video services. “We think that most users are going to get multiple over-the-top products, and we’re going to do our best to convince them that the Apple TV+ product should be one of them.”

That’s a newly conciliatory stance towards existing services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, with which Apple now partners and relies on for current services revenues. And towards coming services, like Disney’s surprisingly affordable service that will launch later this year.

Apple’s aim, of course, is to replace as many of those services as possible, and to bring as many revenues as possible in-house. But it’s years late to the streaming video market and it is arriving with a decided lack of content, especially compared to certain services, like HBO and Netflix, which are known for award-winning, high-quality content.

To close the gap, Apple plans to spend about $2 billion on content this year. But that figure pales in comparison to its rivals. Netflix spent $13 billion on content in 2018 alone, for example, and it expects to spend $15 billion this year.

That differential may help explain Cook’s tone here: There is no way Apple can beat Netflix in the short run, if ever.

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Comments (31)

31 responses to “Apple TV+ Can Coexist with Netflix, Cook Says”

  1. Avatar

    jchampeau

    Remember how Kathy Bates' character in "Misery" wouldn't use vulgar language but would instead use ridiculous stand-in words like "Cockadoodie?" That's what I'm imagining Apple's original content will be like.

  2. Avatar

    glenn8878

    Apple can afford to buyout a film studio or an independent. Giving up on self-driving cars will free up some cash.


    Netflix has a bunch of poorly produced dystopian thrillers. It lacks uplifting dramas and comedy. There's nothing to enjoy for the whole family. If Apple counterprograms, it'll quickly find an audience.

  3. Avatar

    SYNERDATA

    Do I have to own an Apple product to have access or is it just a service for their victims?

  4. Avatar

    nbplopes

    In the end of the day all we have replaced a huge bundle (called Cable) with several mini bundles now called (over-the-top). Bundles that are getting bigger every day ... and more expensive.


    I thought companies like Netflix and Hulu that were supposedly born out of cord-cutting culture would be the ones to understand the benefits of the unbundling and in the forefront of supporting "TV Guides" of mashups of data from multiple vendors . But the reality is what was behind cord-cutting culture was just the desire of some companies to compete with Cable.


    Netflix, Hulu and others are becoming the new Cable. Otherwise why Netflix never supported third party TV guides such as XBOX TV, Apple TV ... You need to open Netflix to actually see what is on.

  5. Avatar

    Stooks

    The consumer has lost. Compare the video industry to the music industry.


    You can get most music from multiple vendors for the same price. Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google etc. It then comes down to app quality or device support. The consumer wins.


    For video was have a complete train wreck. No single vendor has everything. The pricing is all over the place. Some charge more for 4K some do not have 4K. It seems like every 3 months there is another service. Device support has been a huge issue and that changes all the time. (Amazon seems to work with everyone now). Cable was too expensive and people began to "cut the cord". Now with multiple streaming services, more bandwidth caps, Cable is looking not so bad. Of course you can't get everything from Cable so maybe not.


    It is forcing people to over manage this whole mess. Example I have Cable and CBS but I can't watch the new Star Trek show. I can't rent the episodes on Amazon or Apple either....even after it has been out for a while. So I have to get CBS all access to watch it. So I I wait until the last few episodes of the season and pay for 1 month, no commercials and binge watch it, then dump the service. I do the same with Hulu and Starz. If CBS would let me buy a season on Amazon or Apple they would make more money off of me.


    Another consequence, is that I truly believe piracy of shows is WAY up because of this mess. Lots of money lost there.

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to Stooks:

      The video industry learned from the music industry what not to do if they wanted to keep control of their content. Just think of the streaming services as different tiers on TV. That's what the Apple TV app channels feature is.


      People have been saying for years that they want a-la-carte so they aren't paying for stuff they don't want. Now people are crying about there being too many to choose from. Pick one or the other. You can't get everything for $20 a month considering what these shows cost to produce.

    • Avatar

      provision l-3

      In reply to Stooks:

      "It is forcing people to over manage this whole mess."

      This sums it up for me. I was never a huge TV watcher so I dropped cable in 2002 and would just use netflix for DVD rentals. Then came online media stores so I started buying/renting a little more. Then netflix streaming so a little more. Now all the content owners want to be the only source of their content and stream directly. I started down the road you are talking about, adding Hulu, dropping Hulu adding HBO, dropping HBO adding whatever and I hit "f-ck it" and decided I was going to fiddle with this crap any more. I have since gone back to playing guitar, reading and and drawing for fun. So this mess has actually been a net win for me, I'm doing stuff I enjoy but I'm guessing that was not the intent of Netflix, HBO, Hulu ... I also guess I'm in the minority and enough people will settle for doing the streaming service shuffle.

  6. Avatar

    shameermulji

    In reply to MutualCore:

    I agree. Apple is spending on Project Titan. They are serious about autonomous vehicles

  7. Avatar

    glenn8878

    In reply to MutualCore:

    Apple doesn't need to be involved. Just because itunes is used in cars doesn't mean Apple need to manufacture cars. A streaming service is expanding where they are already at.

  8. Avatar

    lvthunder

    Did anyone think Apple TV+ couldn't coexist with the others? I mean ABC, NBC, and CBS coexist. Why wouldn't Netflix, Amazon, and Apple?

  9. Avatar

    MikeGalos

    The problem for Tim Cook is that Netflix can exist quite nicely with or without Apple TV+.

    And so can Apple users.

  10. Avatar

    provision l-3

    I don't think the question is "Can streaming services co-exisit?" it is more about "How many can the market reasonably support?" everybody and their dog seems to be jumping in on this action.

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to provision l-3:

      I think that number will be more then you think. I think people will bounce back and forth between them. Now I split time between HBO Now and Showtime (whatever they call their service). So when Apple TV+ comes out I'll add it to the list and switch between the three. I also have Amazon Prime, Netflix, NHL.tv, and a couple news/current event subscriptions on top of my satellite subscription.

  11. Avatar

    dcdevito

    None of the OTT media services are true cable cutting services. Netflix is decent because it’s relatively inexpensive considering the sheer amount of available content on demand.

    But while I enjoy my YouTube TV subscription, it’s just a modern technological variant of the cable/satellite model. I was about to cancel my subscription and go back to CBS All Access but my family members that I share my subscription with (as you can with up to six people in a family google group) decided to chip in for the bill. So I’m keeping it for now.

    What I’d like to see is Apple TV+ bundle shows, not services, for a bundled discounted rate. Give me the shows I want, not services, and I’m in.

  12. Avatar

    VancouverNinja

    Don't forget CBS and DC Universe. I think Apple will do okay with the most loyal of their customers just subscribing. Outside of that they are going to have a hard time.

  13. Avatar

    mattbg

    Other than the cost, I don't see an issue with these co-existing, either. There are so many gaps in what Netflix offers. If you were to stick with Netflix as your only service then you would likely be watching what's available on Netflix rather than what you actually want to watch much of the time.


    I guess the real question is - can it coexist as a value proposition alongside Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+?


    We need to see more details about TV+. Is it original content only? Wasn't there a rumor that original content was going to be free for Apple device owners? Is that still the case? It doesn't sound like it, because Tim Cook wouldn't have to convince anyone to choose it if it was free. How would device profiling work now that iTunes will be available cross-platform? What if I have an Apple device but am not watching on an Apple device?


    If they can come up with some bundles that offer decent value (whether across channels, or even just across Apple services), I think that will be where it's most interesting. If they can bring everything that many people care about together under one interface/umbrella (like they tried and failed to do with Apple TV) then they will be adding some real value.

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to mattbg:

      Yes it is original content only or else they would of said something at the event they held. There was a rumor about it being free to Apple customers, but it's just that and it's probably something someone made up.


      They are trying to bring all the content together in the TV app, but some of these providers don't want that to happen just like they didn't when Microsoft tried it in Windows Mobile with the hubs. For the services that work with the TV app it is nice. It would be even nicer if everything was in there.

  14. Avatar

    toukale

    Well, Cook is not wrong, this is not a zero sum game or market. The streaming market will have multiple niches and some users will subscribes to multiple services provided their prices are reasonable, (Disney...$6.99). The only ones who are trying to spin it as a zero sum game are analysts, blogs and the media for more clicks. Same thing with music streaming etc... as a user, I do not want one dominant player, I want to have 3-5 healthy players fighting for my money.


    Apple will continue to operate the same as ever, which means, they will go for the most profits. That alone will regulate them to having the most expensive options out there, and not the most successful one. As usual, we will get the Apple is not the most successful option, therefore the doomed and gloomed scenario will come into play for some as a way for more clicks, example... the current music streaming market.

  15. Avatar

    wasimkhan234

    thanks for give me information about apple TV best information.

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