Apple OTT Service Coming to Over 100 Countries in 2019: Report
More (unconfirmed) news about Apple's coming over-the-top (OTT) video service: The Information says Apple is planning a worldwide rollout early next year, citing "three people familiar with the company's plans." A report from earlier this month said the service will be available for free to Apple device owners, and will give them the option to subscribe to additional services. This new report says the service will debut in the U.S. in the first half of 2019, and expand to over 100 countries in the following months. Netflix is available in 190 countries, while Amazon Prime Video is in 200.
Apple's service will be available through its devices, including Apple TVs, iPads, and iPhones, but apparently not computers. Content will be free, although presumably ad-supported. So far, customers have shown an appetite for free ad-supported content.
Apple is ramping up its content library with big name talent. Yesterday, news broke that Steve Carell has signed onto a dramatic series about a morning news program. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are executive producers and leads in the series. Apple previously announced it will spend $1 billion in 2018 on original content creation and licensing. It has also signed deals with Oprah Winfrey and Sesame Workshop.
Onboarding Amazon Prime and Hulu's subscriber base to Apple TV alone gives the service the potential to become largest single VOD platform in the U.S., while Apple TV+ will feature shows from Hollywood A-listers like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.
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The Apple video ecosystem gained some important partners at this year's CES, allowing owners to do more with their media.
In a rare expansion outside its ecosystem, Apple works with Samsung for streaming video support ahead of its service launch.
An unconfirmed report says Apple's latest video play is to give premium content away through an app, then sell third-party subscriptions.
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