Apple may be launching a streaming service at month's end that will include original content and other offerings.
Some original content from Apple will reportedly be free and housed in the “TV” app -- pre-installed on iOS devices like iPhones. Users can also subscribe to other TV network content, like Starz, from within the app, according to CNBC.
In part, this jumps off a recent NBCUniversal announcement: a big ad-supported streaming service, as well as an ad-free, subscription option, is coming late next year. NBC isn’t using the word “free,” but CEO Stephen Burke did allude to the effort.
You know, it started as a “free” idea -- with only the cost of a TV set, some electricity, and enduring messaging from those who want to sell you stuff.
Already, there are free ad-supported OTT services with TV/video content, such as Pluto TV, The Roku Channel, Crackle and Tubi, which after four years now says it is profitable.
Still, many of these efforts don’t contain new premium TV content, and/or don’t offer a live, linear package of TV networks. There is also the matter of an internet connection, with broadband services costing $70 a month or more.
For its part, NBCUniversal, Apple, and others may believe competing with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and perhaps others coming from Disney and WarnerMedia -- with no-advertising, subscription services for $10 to $13 a month -- is already a glutted marketplace. The door for that limited overall monthly consumer OTT budget -- anywhere from $20 to $40 -- is closing fast.
So turn to a “free” ad-supported platform -- or perhaps low-cost ad-supported platforms, such as CBS All Access.
Is this where the marketplace is going? Is it coming apart at the seams? Or just learning a lesson from the past — when TV started 80 years ago?