Have you ever noticed that the Apple logo looks like the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden after Eve took a bite? If you did not, maybe you will now. And in a Jeremy Clarkson voice, on that disturbing thought, let us move on with the matter at hand.
This will be a big week for Apple as it launches its streaming platform for entertainment, media, and sports content. Monday, March 25, 2019, is the date in time many have been anxiously awaiting. Within that launch, many also learned that Apple is again ahead of the competition by disrupting the sports industry by doing to it what it previously did to the music industry. Apple is essentially taking the key moments out of a sporting event like it did with taking songs out of the album for easier consumption. The above two points may change the way content is consumed, forever. How, and why?
First, unlike Verizon’s sadly unsuccessful launch into content distribution through AOL and Yahoo!, Apple has prepared for a more grassroots launch starting with an Apple TV app serving like a Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime/Fire Stick, Roku-like platform that has been around for a while. Apple has and will rely on its loyal customer base to drive the brand, advertisers, and like to its app.
Second, unlike Comcast and AT&T purchasing NBC Universal and Time Warner, but like Amazon, Apple is producing original content through its own platform, while licensing additional content from other studios. NBC and Time Warner of course also produce original content, but they were purchased by the cable/cell phone provider/carrier through which distribution occurs. Apple is already the trusted cell phone company taking a dive into the content creation and distribution pool.
Third, like the Chinese company Tencent and its app WeChat, Apple TV wants to be the app for everything and a major competitor to Amazon in two ways. Like Amazon, Apple’s credit card deal with Goldman Sachs will open up opportunities for financial transactions to purchase content, apps, and services. Missing is the e-commerce goods offering, but like Amazon, Apple will be selling and distributing content. The difference will be that Apple sees serious revenue coming from its Apple TV app based on the A-list Hollywood talent that the company has signed, including teaming up with studio A24 (Oscar-winning Moonlight (2016)), whereas Amazon has likely not made a profit (and may not need to) from its foray into distributing content, yet.
Lastly, like WeChat, but unlike any other company mentioned herein, Apple is a social-communication company with its iMessage, phones, and products. Why is that significant? Well, according to a 2018 Nielsen report, 66% of consumers chose to watch content based on recommendations by family and friends. One could imagine a company that controls its own communication tools amongst a loyal customer base will indeed see an increase of sharing ideas for content-watching and binging with each other, which means more sales for Apple TV content.
The fact that Netflix does not want a piece of the Apple pie, pun intended, could be evidence of strong competitor entering the space by keeping an apple away for a day, or more. Apple’s bite into content also feeds it cell phone sales and brand loyalty as more content means more screen time on Apple phones and products.
If we were betting, we should bet on Apple to have a successful content production, distribution, and consumption run on its Apple TV app and platform.