Apple will move forward with its plans to create an online streaming service featuring original content, according to an article published by NPR last week. The undeveloped service, which would place the iPhone company in direct competition with established streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video, follows the company's stymied attempt to create a live TV streaming service: in December, Bloomberg Technology reported Apple had suspended the development of a program which would have offered customers “a package of 14 or so channels for $30 to $40 a month.”
“Netflix is so popular, and it’s cheap. Especially for a college student,” sophomore Adrianna Laskowski said, casting doubt on Apple’s ability to lure consumers away from the dominant brand. However, Laskowski believes an Apple service allowing for use across multiple Apple devices would appeal to her and others.
“Almost everyone has an iPhone. I have an Apple Watch; if I could watch it on my watch, that’d be pretty cool. With Netflix, I can’t do that,” Laskowski said.
Danielle Mercado, a sophomore, believes the Apple brand is strong enough to compete successfully with Netflix.
“If they provide just as good, or even better TV show and movie selections, I feel that they will be very successful,” she said adding, “if Apple featured newer movies than Netflix, then it would give them a big edge.”
Mercado is satisfied with Netflix’s app designed for use on Apple products and does not believe Apple would be able to significantly improve on Netflix’s mobile app design.
“I have used it multiple times on my iPad, and I like it a lot. It’s reliable,” Mercado said.
Some students, like Mercado, are willing to pay for both Netflix and an Apple streaming service, although others, including Laskowski and sophomore Meagan Collins, are not. Apple’s original content would need high ratings before Collins would consider abandoning Netflix. He says, “I wouldn’t switch, unless they offer older shows from TV networks and their original content is getting great reviews.” Laskowski agrees, “If it offered something a little bit more interesting than what Netflix has, then yes, but other than that, I’m not paying for two of the same thing,” she said.
Netflix is not alone: Apple would be competing with Hulu and Amazon as well. Both streaming services provide subscribers with exclusive – and popular – original content. Movie producer Sid Ganis is surprised the company will attempt to win over Netflix subscribers with original programming.
“It seemed odd that they would take that really big, gigantic leap into creating content. Content is not very easy to figure out,” Ganis said in NPR's article. Gartner analyst Brian Blau believes Apple plans to use original content as an incentive.
"Having original content is a strategy that is simply just going to bring people back to Apple," Blau said in the NPR report, "one that's going to make them more competitive with these other original content providers that have potentially been drawing Apple users away from the Apple ecosystem."
Apple has yet to make an official announcement regarding their streaming service, the release date of which is unknown.