Apple who is spending billions to get into the entertainment business with their own movie content, is now planning to give it all away for free, but there is one problem, you have to be an Apple customer.
According to CNBC the new content which will go head to head with content from Netflix, Amazon and local providers such as Stan, Foxtel and Fetch, will be made available for free to customers who own Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs.
The free shows will be offered alongside optional add-on subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix in a revamped TV app, according to the report which will be released in late March 2019.
Observers claim that Apple is blatantly copying Amazon’s Prime Channels model and that they are pumping “big” money into a yet-to-debut catalogue of original TV shows and movies.
Earlier this year Apple signed a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to develop new shows, ordered a pair of children’s shows from the creators of Sesame Street, a reboot of the science fiction anthology show Amazing Stories, a Hunger Games-style dystopian show called See, a series from La La Land director Damien Chazelle, a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, a drama about a morning show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction novel Foundation.
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Tim Cook decided to shelve Vital Signs, a series influenced by the story of Dr. Dre, after the Apple CEO was shocked by drug and sex scenes in a preview episode.
Observers at The Verge said ‘Can Apple create a must-see collection of wholesome fun for the whole family? Sounds pretty daunting (and frankly a little boring) to me’.
Apple has already begun releasing its own projects: it released Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke last year on Apple Music, but its big slate of original content will come in March 2019.
CNBC claims that despite the ‘free’ content roll out, there’s always the potential for Apple to eventually launch a recurring subscription more in line with its rivals.
They claim that Apple is looking for “tentpole” shows that would help build out a service worth paying for.
But giving some of this stuff away for free at the start might be necessary if it wants to get viewers over — even temporarily — from Netflix and the rest then it has been worthwhile.