Recently, I wrote about how Google managed to keep its plans to enter the $140 billion video game industry secret, even as the company spent years developing its strategy.
Today, I bring you Apple, and its close-to-the-vest plan to launch a streaming service. It's not going to be as big as Netflix, but it's the same $120 billion industry.
By definition, it's secret, but pundits and observers have been predicting a few elements, like:
- a way to subscribe to HBO, Showtime, and other premium channels
- a new and updated version of Apple News (which, by the way, publishers haven't been thrilled about, since Apple proposes to keep 50 percent of ad revenue)
- possibly some kind of subscription-based gaming
They'll be competing with Netflix but the scope seems to be less ambitious, at least to start. For one thing, they're not first. Also, Apple is reportedly going to spend $1 billion on content in its first year, which sounds gigantic until you realize Netflix is planning to spend $15 billion in 2019.
It's probably inevitable during this moment when Apple is trying to reset its future (now that we're not all updating our iPhones every two years, and Spotify does more business than iTunes), that people will think back to Steve Jobs.
Because even though Jobs has been gone almost eight years now, if you read the Walter Isaacson biography or other accounts of his last years, it seems he was quite fixated on the future of television.
Of course, chances are pretty good that you already have an Apple TV (or a competing product), but this development seems more existential.
The announcement, and the potential start of Apple's newest chapter, comes today at 1 p.m., Eastern time.
Here's what else I'm reading today:
- No collusion with Russia; no conclusion on obstruction of justice. That should settle it, right?
- There is no downside to running for president. Stay tuned for my big announcement! (Kidding.)
- Amazon's Whole Foods delivery program has a problem: "The substitutions are downright bizarre."
- Now there's a warning that the Boeing 737 Max crisis "could drag down the entire U.S. economy."
- When keyless entry is a bug, not a feature. (Or: What if I just like having a metal key?)