Apple’s deep pockets could take on Hollywood, Netflix

The potential move of Apple into streaming video could reshape an industry which is already feeling the impact from new players like Netflix. (AFP)
Updated 19 August 2017
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Apple’s deep pockets could take on Hollywood, Netflix

SAN FRANCISCO: The potential move of Apple into streaming video could reshape an industry which is already feeling the impact from new players like Netflix.
While Apple has not revealed any plans publicly, a report that the iPhone maker could spend a billion dollars on its own shows suggested more disruption for a sector seeing rapid changes.
The move by deep-pocketed Apple would challenge entrenched services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, which have been increasingly challenging the established media-entertainment world of Hollywood.
Apple declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal report on its billion-dollar budget for new content.
Analysts consider original, exclusive content imperative for fielding a viable video streaming service, something that Apple has yet to do despite being early to market with an Apple TV set-top box linked to the Internet.
“If Apple wants to stay relevant they have to go into the subscription streaming space, and that means original content,” said Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson.
Analyst Paul Verna at eMarketer said video fits nicely into Apple’s business strategy: “Content is a vital missing link that could help Apple complete a powerful ecosystem of programming, devices and services,” he said.
Global streaming television king Netflix is expected to spend about $7 billion this year on content, with slightly less than half of that money going to making its shows it can distribute how and where it wishes.
service along with free shared video posts.
Facebook too is rolling out a new video service offering professionally produced shows in a challenge to rivals such as YouTube, and potentially to streaming providers like Netflix.
The Facebook service called Watch will include a range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports. Facebook has funded some of the creators to get the service going.


Leaving on a jetsuit? London store offers chance to hover like "Iron Man"

Updated 18 July 2018
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Leaving on a jetsuit? London store offers chance to hover like "Iron Man"

  • Running on jet fuel or diesel, it has a speed record of 32 miles per hour
  • Made up of five miniature jet engines mounted on the pilot's arms and back

LONDON: Ever fancied a dab at being "Iron Man"? Now you can. A jet suit created by a British former commodities trader has gone on sale in a London department store with a cool price tag of 340,000 pounds ($443,428).
Made up of five miniature jet engines mounted on the pilot's arms and back, and also of electronics and 3D printed parts, the suit by Gravity Industries is reminiscent of the one worn by Robert Downey Jr as Marvel superhero "Iron Man".
Running on jet fuel or diesel, it has a speed record of 32 miles per hour (51 kph) and altitude limit of 12,000 feet (3,658 metres), though inventor Richard Browning hovers only a few metres above the ground when using it, for safety reasons.
He has taken it on demonstrations around the world and on Wednesday took flight above a small closed-off street outside luxury department store Selfridges, which is selling custom-made versions of the suit.
"This consumes about four litres a minute in the hover (position) so you can fly for three or four minutes quite easily and we have got another version - certainly on a cold day when you get more thrust, it'll fly for about nine minutes," he said.
"That's something we're looking to improve but it's the inevitable consequence of flying without wings."
The curious can see the suit at the store as well as test out a virtual reality version. Anybody who decides to buy a suit will also be offered training.
"If you watch this as an audience member you probably get exposed to more warmth than I do as the pilot," Browning said. "It's actually surprisingly calm and not very violent. It's very passive and gentle when you're flying it." ($1 = 0.7668 pounds)