This week, many were surprised when Netflix let its licensing deal with EPIX expire, and saw many blockbuster titles like “Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “World War Z” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” disappear from the service. However, there is a larger gameplan for the streaming service. “While many of these movies are popular, they are also widely available on cable and other subscription platforms at the same time as they are on Netflix,” said the streaming giant’s honcho Ted Sarandos. “Through our original films and some innovative licensing arrangements with the movie studios, we are aiming to build a better movie experience for you.”
Indeed, for streaming services, the mere fact of carrying content that many other outlets have isn’t enough to stay competitive. Keeping subscribers in the long term will mean creating original programming that makes Netflix (or Amazon or Hulu) a must-have service in a time when consumers are now spending an average of $32/month on online content. And with HBO and other networks creating their own online shows and movies, the landscape is only going to get more crowded, and there’s another very big player who might be getting into the game.
Variety reports that Apple — which revolutionized the digital consumption of music and movies with its iTunes store — is now apparently toying with the idea of creating their own original content. This move makes sense: the company already has software and hardware delivery systems in place, a massive base of customers already buying through iTunes, and has dipped its toes into the streaming business with Apple Music (though the launch was marred by technical issues).
Right now, it’s unclear if Apple will focus on movies or TV shows or both, though it’s been suggested that the company is looking to hire personnel should this directive get up and running by next year. All that being said, it may be nothing more than just an idea at this point, but should plans proceed, Apple has a $200 billion war chest of money to dive into.
Thoughts? Do we need yet another streaming service? Will it be better or worse for consumers? Let us know below.