Anticipation Builds For Apple’s Original Video Content
During an interview at the Pollstar Live! conference in February, Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, teased an upcoming announcement about Apple’s original video programming. “Hopefully you’ll hear a lot more about this in a little bit of time,” Cue said. Even before that, the tech press had been speculating about what Cue might make say when he speaks at South by Southwest.
It has been a little over a year since Apple announced its entry into original video programming, and since then things have progressed quickly. Cue, who shepherded iTunes and Apple Music to positions of dominance, is now overseeing the company’s video programming. iTunes became the largest online music retailer in 2008, five years after its launch, and Apple Music is rapidly gaining on Spotify on its way to becoming the largest streaming subscription service in the U.S. Whether Cue helps Apple replicate that success is one question — what form programming distribution takes is another.
For at least eight years, there have been rumors of Apple entering into the television provider business. Currently, Apple TV set-top boxes are bundled with the DirecTV Now service. MacRumors reported that Cue maintained a tough negotiating stance during Apple’s own efforts to create a bundled channel subscription service. As of yet, the company hasn’t been able to make the deals that would let it offer its own product at the price point it was reportedly seeking while still delivering a certain quality of user experience — full seasons of shows, the ability for viewers to skip commercials, price freezes for several years, and other quality-of-life features.