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Offbeat

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)
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.

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