Apple is working on more than two-dozen television shows that The New York Times has learned are going to launch as part of the tech giant’s upcoming television offering some time in 2019, setting the Cupertino company squarely against the streaming leader Netflix.
In March, the paper speculated that Apple’s video effort wouldn’t come to fruition before 2019.
Tucked away as a side-note in yesterday’s report by The New York Times newspaper detailing how Apple scored rights to turn the paper’s interactive feature on climate change into a non-fiction TV series is the following passage:
Apple has said it will start streaming its television offerings next year, when it will begin competing against Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in earnest.
When Apple began courting producers last year, it said it had a budget of about $1 billion to work with, a sum that appears conservative based on the large number of projects the company has scooped up.
By comparison, Netflix will spend $8 billion this year on content.
Among other projects, Apple has announced a major content deal with Oprah Winfrey, ordered the show “Little Voice” from the producer J. J. Abrams, approved the anthology series about immigrants “Little America”, ordered an expensive drama with a morning-show setting that stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston and confirmed working on a revival of the 1980s Steven Spielberg anthology sci-fi horror series “Amazing Stories.”
Sensing danger, Netflix began testing bypassing iTunes billing in some countries. Netflix wants to direct new users to sign up for its service through a web interface using their credit card.
Currently, Netflix for iOS and tvOS uses Apple’s frictionless In-App Purchase mechanism which entitles Apple to a 30 percent cut on all Netflix subscriptions signed up through the app.
That cut drops to 15% after twelve months of a user’s uninterrupted subscription.
Apple’s original programming is believed to be served through the company’s TV app for iOS and tvOS platforms rather than being streamed through the Video section of Apple Music (like some of its free documentaries and failed shows, such as “Planet of the Apps”).