Monday, March 25, 2019

Apple dives into video streaming with Apple TV Plus

Written by Daniel Howley — Apple (AAPL) on Monday unveiled its long-awaited video streaming service.

Dubbed Apple TV Plus and debuting this fall, the service will be available through the Apple TV app, which will now be offered across Apple devices as well as smart TVs from a slew of manufacturers.

The tech giant has yet to reveal the pricing for Apple TV Plus.

Apple debuted the service with the help of a number of Hollywood heavyweights including Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, J.J. Abrams and ... Big Bird.

The company says all of its content will be completely downloadable and available in more than 100 countries.

The service is expected to be a critical part of Apple’s shift away from its heavy dependence on hardware sales toward the continuous revenue stream of its services business.

Analysts have high hopes for Apple's TV Plus. And if it proves successful, the service could ensure that Apple continues to stand as one of the riches companies in the world.

Apple TV Plus

Apple's streaming initiative will be integral to the company's future, as the iPhone maker pivots to relying on the continuous revenue stream of its growing services business amid slowing handset sales.

But Apple TV Plus faces stiff competition from some of the biggest names in video streaming including Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Hulu. Then there are the other services that are expected to launch in the coming year including Disney's Disney Plus and NBCUniversal's still-unnamed offering.

Analysts are banking on the success Apple TV Plus. Ahead of Monday’s unveiling, Needham upgraded Apple's stock rating from buy to a strong buy, citing the company’s product ecosystem, customer loyalty, and Apple TV Plus.

And while Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty and Erik Woodring pointed out that the investment community is skeptical of Apple's ability to stand apart from its competition in the streaming industry, the duo also noted that Apple Music was met with similar sentiment and managed to put up solid growth numbers.

“Going forward, services and wearables drive all of the growth in our model, making the update of new Apple services important to stock performance over the next year,” they wrote.

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