Will Netflix keep streaming higher with Disney and Apple in the wings?

When it comes to the streaming TV industry, one could make an argument that there is Netflix, and there is everyone else.

Based solely on subscriber numbers, Netflix can make a solid case for that statement. Netflix finished 2018 with 139.3 million paid subscribers around the world, and 58.5 million of those subscribers in the United States. By contrast, Amazon doesn’t disclose subscriber figures for its Prime service, which includes access to Prime Video programming. Hulu said in January that it had 25 million paying subscribers.

As part of its efforts to remain the king of the streaming TV mountain, Netflix has not been shy about spending like mad to acquire new content. The company laid out $12.04 billion in 2018 to buy and produce titles for its service — an amount that dwarfs the $8.9 billion in spent in 2017.

Despite such spending, its prevalence in the public mindset and three Oscars for original film “Roma,” Netflix is under assault. And how it responds to the efforts of two of the biggest companies in technology and media may prove whether in the coming years it will be able to maintain its position atop the streaming TV hill.

Netflix soon may get a look at what one potential rival has in mind when Apple hosts an event March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater at its headquarters in Cupertino. Apple earlier this week sent invitations to media about the event and, as is typically the case, the company remained coy about what it has planned.

“It’s show time,” read the invitation, which included no other information except the event’s day, time and location. A request made to Apple for more information about what is on tap went unreturned.

But that statement about “show time” — as opposed to “showtime” — was enough to get some Apple analysts thinking that the company might, at last, be about to do more that dip its toe into the streaming TV industry and launch a slate of subscription-based programs that fall in line with its increasing emphasis on services as a driver of revenue.

“Apple has consistently indicated that its strategy is to have compelling and targeted content, and believes multiple streaming services can co-exist,” said UBS analyst Tim Arcuri, in a research note. “We believe Apple could also introduce a subscription service for (Apple) News, and potentially gaming this year.”

If Apple does want to co-exist with a subscription streaming service

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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