Apple takes on Amazon Prime with all–inclusive subscription model
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According to The Information, two people familiar with Apple’s plans have confirmed that Apple is planning to offer an all-in-one package which will include its own planned original television content.
This approach has much in common with the immensely popular Amazon Prime subscription, which includes access to free fast-tracked delivery, news, and music and video streaming. In its own subscription, Apple would likely offer a bundle of music, original programming, magazine services and news.
The offer could help Apple reach its target of doubling its services revenue - which is currently dominated by App Store commissions - by 2020 and reducing its dependence on high-end hardware sales.
According to the report, Apple would still allow customers to pay for a subscription for an individual service (for instance, Apple Music is currently offered at £79/year and has 40 million subscribers), although it may be more cost-efficient to subscribe to the full suite of services.
In March 2018, Apple acquired Texture, a distributor of over 200 digital magazine titles, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Reader’s Digest, Wired, The New Yorker, Time, Forbes, GQ, Hollywood Reporter, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.
Meanwhile, Apple is in the process of preparing a rollout of original video content to compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming giants, due to arrive on Apple Worldwide Video in the spring or summer of 2019. Already, Apple has debuted two original shows (Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke: The Series) for Apple Music subscribers, although its full portfolio is expected to include at least a dozen shows at an estimated cost of $1bn (£760m).
In 2017, Apple recruited Breaking Bad executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht to head Apple Worldwide Video. The service would likely offer shows for both adults and children, for South American and European audiences, while billionaire entertainment queen Oprah Winfrey has signed a multi-year deal with Apple to produce a range of original shows.
Even if Apple’s original shows struggle to attract viewers amid hefty competition from Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime Video, rolling the cost into a single subscription could help it stand up as it builds up its portfolio of original programming.