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.