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Apple Event: I Didn’t See The Streaming

by User Not Found | Sep 11, 2015

Apple launched a string of new products at its “Special Event” on September 9. However, in the video and TV domain, despite the revamped Apple TV set-top box (and the sleek remote control, plus tvOS and a dedicated app store), we have not seen the rumoured video subscription service. Apple relying on third party apps such as Netflix or Amazon to spur usage of its hardware.

We downgraded the score of Apple’s competitiveness in the media domains when we revisited Apple’s mobile content and service strategies, as Apple has been late with new media service offerings and slow in catching up. The chart below is what we reached when all the assets evaluated were put together.

Apple jigsaw summary 2015

This is not too dissimilar to what we have seen in the digital music industry, where Apple has been slow to adapt to the changing dynamics from pay-to-download to streaming. Finally in June this year at its WWDC event Apple Music was launched, and there has been debate over the level of its success so far, with the date of reality check still to come when the free trial period expires.

When it comes to premium video, the market has also moved on from download and rental to subscription. Strategy Analytics in its recently published mobile media forecast has highlighted the shift in momentum. The number of users of subscription mobile video will grow at an approximately 8% CAGR from 2016 to 2021 while those of download and rental will both drop. Here again Apple is faced with a difficult choice: either joining the game, albeit late, with its own subscription service, with no guarantee of success; or staying out of the subscription market, risking to become increasingly irrelevant even to Apple users when they go for video service. I’m afraid this is the price to pay for being late for the party, but my bet is on Apple joining the game later rather than never, with or without  original content, that is.

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