With over 1.4 billion active installed base of devices globally and millions in India – iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, Macs, iPod touch and more – Apple has finally flexed its muscles to take on content streaming giants like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime and Disney with aggressive pricing, free offers and all-original stories. The announcement of a much cheaper Apple TV+ subscription than expected (Rs 99 a month in India and $4.99 in the US and other countries) immediately saw shares of Netflix, Disney and Roku tumbling down as Apple, which has nearly $210 billion cash at its disposal, has sensed the mammoth streaming opportunity that lies ahead and is going to open its coffers for creating more originals, even in regional languages.
Indians today spend 30 per cent of their phone time and over 70 per cent of mobile data on entertainment and movies are their preferred choice on smart TV and larger screens. An over-the-top (OTT) viewer in India is spending approximately 70 minutes a day on video streaming platforms, with a consumption frequency of 12.5 times a week, an Eros Now-KPMG report said last week.
Soon to be available at Rs 99 a month, Apple TV+ will also be available (via Apple TV app) on select Samsung smart TVs and will come to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms soon. If you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch, you can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. Once the free period is over, you will still pay Rs 99 a month. Through family sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription. On offer are nine originals from the world’s most celebrated creative artists that will debut on the Apple TV app on November 1.
Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CyberMedia Research (CMR), said that Apple has made a significant statement of its intent, and its push towards offering new value propositions to its user base. “By pricing its subscription low, and bundling free annual subscription with its devices, Apple has focused on a very smart and prudent strategy to build a sizable subscriber base and, drive revenues,” Ram told IANS.
“Make no mistake, Apple not only takes on the competition head on, its bundled subscription will also potentially contribute as a pivot to increasing iPhone and iPad sales,” Ram noted.