Walter Isaacson wrote seven years ago that Apple founder Steve Jobs told him he’d “cracked the code” on incorporating television into the digital age. However, seven years gone by and the world is still waiting, although, Apple is not giving up, even if it isn’t revolutionizing the industry.
People familiar with the matter told CNBC that Apple is preparing a new digital service that will ultimately marry original content and subscription services from legacy media companies. All owners of Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will find the still-in-the-works service in the pre-installed “TV” application, said the sources asking to remain anonymous.
The future product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to all Apple device owners. Subscription “channels” will enable customers to sign up for online-services, similar to those from HBO and Starz. While an Apple spokesman declined to comment, the anonymous people stated Apple plans to debut the app early next year.
Bloomberg reported back in May, the subscription channels will fundamentally copy Amazon’s Prime Video Channel subscriptions. Customers are able to access all of their content from within the app, removing the need to download individual apps from multiple media providers.
The people also noted Apple is spending roughly $1 billion on original content this year, and will be targeting “PG-rated” shows that appeal to wide audiences to avoid causing trouble by making them available for free to owners of all devices. Apple is also seeking “tent pole” franchises that could possibly serve as linchpins to a paid Netflix-like subscription in the future.