Apple hasn’t been quiet about its plans to offer up original video content, but so far the company has been moving fairly slowly. That could be set to change, as the company could be planning to bring free original content to owners of its devices like iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV, according to a report from CNBC.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” CNBC’s report says that Apple is preparing a new digital video service that will take a multi-armed approach. Part of this offering will be free content available to owners of Apple hardware, offered via the “TV” app that has been present on iOS and Apple TV devices for some time now. The other part of the plan would be to offer “channels” that would allow users to sign up for paid content from services like HBO or Starz.
If that second part sounds familiar, it’s because the way it’s described sounds very similar to the way Amazon Prime Video’s Channels work. That service lets Prime users subscribe to various channels including HBO as well as other more niche services, using their Amazon billing information, meaning they don’t have to sign in to multiple services to manage their accounts. If this is how Apple’s planned offer works, it could be a major convenience for customers.
While HBO offers a variety of blood-soaked programming, you shouldn’t expect to find that via Apple’s own content offerings. As reported last month, Apple is imposing strict regulations on those producing content for its platform, refusing to carry content any harsher than PG-rated material. This is great for parents who want to watch with their kids, but could mean the company’s original content might not appeal to those used to the more visceral type of programming that seems to be popular right now.
Apple isn’t the only company looking to broaden its streaming offerings. Earlier this week, AT&T announced plans to launch a streaming service that would compete with Netflix in the fourth-quarter of 2019. HBO programming seems to be the hallmark of the service, and its inclusion means that the service will cost more than a stand-alone HBO Now subscription. This pricing could chase customers away, but Apple’s stance on what it offers means that these customers may not find themselves running to the company’s free offerings as an alternative to AT&T’s service.