Will Apple Inc.’s effort to enter the streaming world be too little too late?

Nick Filipek, Managing Editor

Just this past week, the multinational technology company, Apple Inc. has decided to throw their hat into the ring of the streaming service business, but is it too late?

In a world where more and more consumers are choosing to “cut the cord” and move away from traditional cable, streaming services provide a safe haven for lower prices and great original programming.

Netflix, for example, charges 12 dollars a month and offers award-winning original movies and series. This is literally a fraction of the cost that cable companies charge for similar programming; so, it is obvious to see why so many have chosen to ditch the cable boxes and satellite dishes in favor of streaming.

It is no wonder the tech giant Apple wants to spread their reach into a different money making venture with such popularity behind it.

The only problem for Apple is that their competitors have had a major head start, with some streaming services offering video on demand content for over a decade now.

If we stay with our example of Netflix, who started their business by shipping DVDs directly to consumers, began their movie streaming expansion in 2007, giving them a now 12 year jump on Apple. In those 12 years, Netflix has become almost synonyms with the word streaming, and has entered the pop culture pantheon with the meme, “Netflix & Chill”

Dan Mattern, Chief Engineer of the Television Center at Wilkes University, shares concern over the timing of the company’s emergence into this already budding enterprise.

“Apple has a great brand name, so maybe the people who already have the Apple TV Box will sign up for it. I think it is going to be tough, I think Netflix has such a huge portion of the market.”

Other large corporations, such as Amazon, have also been riding this streaming train seeing the potential and offering millions of already existing Amazon Prime members a streaming service for free.

Furthermore, after already proving their streaming model was successful, Amazon has started investing in creating and offering their own original content, which the public seemingly loves.

Will Apple be able to do the same with their new Apple TV+ plus, however? Frankly, it will be difficult. There are a plethora of new streaming services popping up nearly every month now, most with a built in customer base already existing.

The Walt Disney Company, for instance, announced their streaming service, Disney+ (seriously, what is with all the “+’s”) which will take all of their content, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Disney Animation and more, put them under one roof and for one price.

That will be hard for any service to compete with, let alone, one with zero track records in the entertainment business.

On the Apple website, the company describes their future service as being “ a new streaming service where the most creative minds in TV and film tell the kinds of stories only they can. Featuring original shows and movies across every genre, Apple TV+ is coming this fall. Exclusively on the Apple TV app.”

Those are really broad statements, with nothing promising anything different, which is exactly what the company used to pride itself on with the slogan, “Think Different.”

Mattern also had an interesting theory that quite honestly makes so much sense of how a company can take such a risk and just jump into the streaming waters feet first.

“Maybe long term, I mean 10-12 years from now, they might be able to make something of it but I don’t think Apple is too concerned with making a whole lot of money with this, I mean they do so many things now that make money, that if this didn’t make money, I don’t think it’s a big deal for them. I knew that they had to do something; they should have just done it five years ago.”

Personally, as someone graduating with a degree in broadcast production, I think this is a thrilling prospect, if it works out. This will add yet another door for prospective film and television production hopefuls to go to for employment and add their own personal view to an ever expanding medium.

This is going to take a sizeable investment, however, to be able to compete with the best of the best, but it’s Apple, I think they can afford the bill.