Apple TV + unlikely to take down streaming giant Netflix

25 March 2019, 21:00 | Updated: 25 March 2019, 22:15

Apple's announcement in California has long been anticipated and widely speculated about.

The company which brought us the iPhone and iPad enjoys shrouding its launches in secrecy. The industry was expecting a new TV streaming platform but the breadth of services they actually uncovered was unexpected.

Apple has about 1.4 billion active devices but it is selling less of its premium iPhones and is looking to services to boost revenues.

Today's announcement shows it is further tapping into that captive market, aiming to be a one-stop shop for entertainment.

Tom Harrington, TV analyst at Enders Analysis, told Sky News the offering from Apple was formidable.

He said: "Nothing that they've announced in and of itself is particularly amazing - Apple Arcade, Apple TV +, Apple Card, Apple News + - altogether its actually quite an all-encompassing media answer.

"If you think about how much people love the Apple brand and being on their iPhones and iPads, the fact that they can now get all these things in the one place and they have a trusted relationship, a trusted sales relationship with Apple, the potential for all these services is actually quite large."

Apple has launched a gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade; news service, Apple News +; a TV streaming service, Apple TV +, and a payment service, Apple Card.

It wants people to play, read, watch and pay through them, thus controlling a huge sector of the entertainment industry.

It wants to replicate the success of subscription music service, Apple Music, which launched in 2015 and overtook its competitor Spotify's subscriber numbers this summer in the US.

In terms of TV, the addition of its streaming service, which will offer customers access to existing channels like HBO and Showtime as well as limited original content, means the market is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive.

Disney and Warner are also about to launch their own streaming services later this year as well as ITV and the BBC, which are joining forces to bring the consumer BritBox.

Apple has signed up Oprah Winfrey as well as Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston - along with JJ Abrams and Octavia Spencer.

However, its model is unlikely to rival the reigning streaming giant Netflix, which is quickly approaching 150 million subscribers largely thanks to its original content.

It has spent about $100m (£76m) per episode on The Crown and reportedly around $12bn (£9bn) in total per year on its original content, compared to a reported $1bn (£758m) spent by Apple.

Maria Rua Aguete, executive director of media, service providers and platforms at HIS Markit told Sky News all this competition is actually good news for the consumer.

"Players like Amazon, Sky, and in this case Apple, are re-aggregating content all in one place, because consumers do not want several services, passwords and different user interfaces," she said.

"There are positives because there is now more content available and at a lower cost."

These streaming wars have also called into question public service broadcasting.

ITV and the BBC are entering the market with BritBox, a joint pay streaming service which will have a large archive of shows and a small budget to commission new ones.

In fact, BritBox has signed up to the new Apple service and will be available on it - unlike Netflix which politely declined.

The government has launched an inquiry looking into how serious the threat from the digital media companies will be, whether the UK public service broadcasters in their current shape are "worth saving" and if they have "done enough to adapt".