Can Apple take on Netflix?

It’s been heavily rumoured for months; Apple announced today it’s own subscription streaming service, Apple TV+, will be launching this Autumn.

It’s no secret that technology companies are not selling as many devices as they once used to, as consumers hold onto their devices for longer periods of time before upgrading. Because of this, Apple has had to think of ways to keep their consumers spending money; by investing heavily into services already available on their iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Todays announcement focused on four Apple services; Apple News, Apple Pay, The App Store and Apple TV. Half of todays announcements seemed half baked, Apple News +, a subscription magazine service and Apple Card, a credit card (yes, an Apple credit card!) will not be available to UK customers on launch.

The main focus of the event was the confirmation of the heavily rumoured television and film streaming service, named Apple TV +. The television and film industry is currently undertaking a shift in the delivery of content; as audiences shift online and wanting content whenever and wherever they want. Netflix has long dominated the space, having invested heavily in original content and ensuring its content can be accessed on every device you own. Many broadcasters and service providers have longed to take Netflix’s crown and announced their own streaming services (the biggest threat so far in my opinion being Disney’s upcoming Disney+ service).

Apple has positioned Apple TV+ as a high quality content service and announced Oprah, Stephen Spielberg and J. J Ambrams are amongst the content creators for its service. Apple announced an array of shows for its service; the lineup of creators and actors is genuinely impressive. However, the event was completely underwhelming and felt premature. Each show was announced individually by the headline cast members, reading out a synopsis of their show, which seemed to go on forever. There were no trailers, apart from a montage of the shows, which was highly disappointing. Plus, there were no details at all on how much the service would cost.

Come on Apple, you can do better than this. I read last week that on average a UK household subscribes to two streaming services, highly likely to be a combination of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. If Apple truly want to compete with these services, it needed to be transparent today in announcing the cost of the service and provide an indication of the quality of the content. Yes, the synopsis of the majority of these shows sounded intriguing, but I want visuals. Obviously these details will come later, but really, what was the point in announcing it if these major details are not ready to be released?!

Whether Apple can take on Netflix, only time will tell. If the content is as high quality and engaging as they claim, then success will follow. With Netflix already dominating the space and Disney+ (which will include Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar + 21st Century Fox content) coming soon, my personal opinion is rather sceptical about Apple’s service.