Apple is no longer just a company that makes iPhones and MacBooks – it’s a global media brand, responsible for big-budget TV shows, movies, games, and podcasts.
Below, we’ve rounded up just some of the ways the company is innovating in the entertainment industry and unlocking new possibilities for consumers around the world…
Despite the lukewarm reception from Apple News+, the company’s premium news subscription service, Apple Music has performed well around the world and now outpaces its nearest rival Spotify in the United States – and in several other markets, too.
Apple reportedly has more than 28 million paid subscribers, while Spotify has 26 million paying customers in the United States, though Spotify’s free tier means that the streaming company is still more popular overall.
The secret to Apple’s success?
Being able to bake in Apple Music into the Music app, which has in just under five years encouraged millions to hand Apple $9.99 for unlimited music.
The App Store
That’s without mentioning the immense power of the App Store, where consumers can play and download millions of games and other content from developers around the world.
Apple revealed at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference it had paid developers more than $100 billion, and that figure is only set to rise as more companies offer in-app subscriptions and premium versions of apps, including the likes of YouTube Premium, where Apple takes a 30% cut.
New data suggests consumers will spend more than $156 billion on apps a year by 2023, and with more than two million apps on the App Store, there’s no sign of slowing down.
Launching November 1, Apple TV+ is Apple’s attempt at capturing a slice of the growing streaming market, where Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu dominate.
Apple has reportedly spent more than $6 billion on original content for the launch of the new service, which is nothing compared to Netflix, who’ll spend more than $15 billion before the year is out on original programming.
Apple TV+ is priced at just $4.99 per month with a year’s free subscription for anyone who buys a new Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, and features a bunch of new shows starring the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell, whose The Morning Show reportedly cost more than $15 million per episode to cast and produce.
Other shows include Oprah’s documentary series and book club, a new two-season, 26-episode animated music comedy called Central Park, and exciting new stories from Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang.
Apple has been working hard to attract some of the best talents in TV and film production, including huge stars and directors, and to lock down the television and movie rights to best-selling books.
Where critics have been more complimentary, however, is with Apple Arcade.
Aside from the iPhone, Apple historically has performed poorly when it comes to gaming – Macs were never designed for games, and despite Apple TV having gamepad support for a couple of years, it did not become the new gaming console it should have been. Despite that, it has the potential to change the industry.
iOS games are often much higher quality than their Android counterparts and with Apple planning to take the offline approach to gaming too, unlike Google’s new cloud-based Stadia subscription service, which will require you to be online at all times, Apple is creating a new hub for gamers of all backgrounds and generations.
Though currently a free platform, companies such as Spotify have been investing in exclusive podcast content to encourage customers to switch to their premium streaming tier, and Apple is reportedly considering the same.
Apple will soon finance original podcasts that are exclusive to the Apple Podcasts platform, according to Bloomberg, with the firm meeting with media companies to discuss possible deals.
Podcasts have exploded in popularity around the world in recent years, with one in three citizens listening to a podcast within the past month – up from one in four last year.
The best part? Podcasts are fueled by special interest groups, with podcasts typically hosted by your Average Joe.
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