When we think of video streaming services on demand, the first name that comes to mind is that of Netflix. But as we already know, they are not the only ones: we also have the options of HBO and Amazon Prime Video. Little by little, most services of this type are being implemented in our country.
However, follow the series that interest us through their catalogs has a serious problem: pay individual subscriptions of each of them. And because of what has been published in media such as Recode, all this could soon change: Apple wants to sell packages of services on demand, and it makes all the sense in the world.
It is true that for now Apple’s attempts to sell its own television service have not finished. However, this kind of plan B is more ambitious and could work, since according to the medium the Cupertino company wants to offer HBO, Showtime and Starz for a price.
For now, and according to other means, the company of the bitten apple does not have any agreement, nobody has committed to them yet. And yet, that Apple managed to get this deal forward would be very fat for several reasons.
A single price, it ended up hiring individual services
We have already mentioned it above: it is not convenient to pay a price for each service. On the other hand, putting a single price with a discount for the whole package can be very attractive for those who want to follow their preferred programming through VOD services.
After all, the three channels with which Apple is negotiating have already embraced the Internet television model, and there are other platforms such as PlayStation Vue that offer multiple television channels that are already working well (although in this case we refer to a series of services on demand). With this in mind, it would be easier to achieve satisfactory treatment for all parties.
However, there are a couple of details that are still unclear: on the one hand, the discount on the price that would be applied to the three channels (if applicable), although I doubt that the user will be paid what the three services cost individually), and if Apple will offer the three chains as independent applications or as a single platform that brings them together.
Obviously it will be much easier to negotiate with a few suppliers than trying to please many, so Apple’s plan has many signs of overcoming this initial phase. Although, surely, cable TV providers will not enjoy it.
A hard blow to cable television
Or rather, a direct left to an industry that is already very weak . Cable television in the United States 20 or 25 years ago was the queen of homes.
Here, cable television has even been compared with on-demand services on the Internet, such as Netflix with Movistar (with a certain dose of controversy) and later with Vodafone. Is this a sign that operators know their limitations? It depends on how it is interpreted.
On the one hand, the operators that offer cable know that they are not a rival even if they try to stand up. So, what is the best solution? Then try to combine the external VOD service with your own and try to make the most of the association, both with the external platform and with the users.
What are you trying? Avoid a phenomenon known as “cord cutting”, something that we mentioned in a previous article. This phenomenon consists of anchoring the subscription to traditional cable channels to replace it with services that come from the Internet.
In the United States, cord-cutting is doing a lot of damage to the cable industry. In August 2016 a record number of users broke their links with cable operators, although the problem comes at least two years ago, when they were unable to respond to Netflix with guarantees.
How can this idea of Apple influence the cable television industry? Well, as long as a discount is applied to the on-demand platform package that will be offered, many users will end up “cutting the cable” as well.
We have to bear in mind that all these operators, when someone contracts their service, offers a basic package for a fixed amount, and if you want to hire an additional channel you have to pay it separately, increasing the final price of the bill.
That is, suppose that a cable operator offers its basic package and, in addition, Netflix. If the user wants to contract the service on demand, but it is not included in the initial channel offer, he will have to pay for it in addition to the basic package.
With the idea that Apple wants to move forward, the user can subscribe directly to platforms over the Internet without having to pay additional costs for cable television packages. If successful, Apple would strike another blow to the cable industry in the United States.
And what about Netflix?
While writing the article I could not help but ask myself this question. Netflix is, without doubt, the most popular on-demand service, with 94 million users. It has a lot of pull and its contents are among the most watched television platforms on the Internet.
So, how is it that Apple has not included them in the deal? What this suggests to me is that this platform works very well independently and has eaten a good chunk of the market, it does not need help of any kind.
Apple has long wanted to enter the television production as we have already said, and in this way can achieve a double objective : on the one hand to participate in the game of television (although it is not as they expected), and on the other to help others platforms to reduce Netflix’s market share (although it will be difficult to do so).
For the rest, and with respect to a possible entry of Netflix in this package, we remember that in an interview the CEO of HBO Europe commented that the conclusion of a pack with Netflix was not part of their plans, although you never know. For now, it seems that they are more focused on differentiating their product …
We want to focus on the quality of the content and we believe that it is the main difference with our competition. Recently some bloggers from Denmark compared all available streaming services and saw the score of content on sites like IMDB. The result was that HBO gained in content with the best ratings and fresh and innovative content.
The intentions of HBO at least seem to be quite clear. In any case, Apple’s project is still in its early stages and things can change a lot in a short time. We will see how everything evolves over time.