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Apple’s masterplan to defeat Netflix looks good in headline type, but in examining what they’re actually offering – I’m not so sure.
As William Burrough’s once said, ours is a war universe.
So, here we collective stand, facing another great war – this time over the control of our spare time. Yesterday, Apple’s Steve Cook illustrated the obvious, in that there was plenty of space in Netflix’s galaxy, announcing their own platform, something colloquially labelled a “Netflix killer”.
In fifty words or less, Apple is coming to the party, offering their subscribers access to premier subscription services (such as HBO and Showtime) as well as their own original content. This is all apparently under the banner of $9.99 a month. Ostensibly, it’s a revamping of their original Apple TV, bringing new services to their existing accessibility. According to The Verge, “Apple will reportedly charge $9.99 for its new Apple News service, described as a “Netflix for news.” That app will allow users to access a range of publications for a single monthly fee, although some major publishers, like The New York Times and The Washington Post don’t plan to take part. Last year, Apple purchased digital magazine service Texture, which offered up readers access to 200 magazines for the same price.”
However, Apple has done something rather galling. They’ve decided to not opt for the well-trodded blood-and-mammaries approach, as their own original content will reportedly be a “family-friendly”, and it has used a heavy hand when it comes to the development of said content.
So, what do they have in mind?
Well, they’re promoting an animated series from Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, Central Park, a series about a family of caretakers in New York’s Central Park. No? How about a half-hour comedy series about Emily Dickinson, starring True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld? How about a yet-unnamed mystery series from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creators Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day. In the realms of drama, they’re promoting something La La Land and First Man director Damien Chazelle, and the company is also reported to be fronting an Israeli series called Neverlot featuring Richard Gere.
To be fair, the problem regarding Netflix is twofold, yes, we’ve seen most of the programs, but there’s rather something comforting about it. We can take a chance, or not. With Apple, there seems to be a lot of mystery. The above programs seem fine (and there’s some more here), but there’s a lot of shows we don’t know, or don’t know to be any good. Let’s be honest, the original content put forward by Netflix has been a trifle naff. To that end, Apple has sunk upward of $1 billion in its own content. Does more money equate to more better?
We’ll find out, I guess. With that being said, one of Apple’s new generals has battle experience in this field.