Apple Announces Apple TV Channels with HBO, Showtime, Starz Coming in May
At this morning’s keynote, Apple announced their highly anticipated Amazon Prime Video Channels competitor called Apple TV Channels coming via a software update this May. Users can access 25+ premium partners including: HBO, Showtime, Starz, EPIX, Cinemax, CBS All Access, Comedy Central Now, Sundance Now, PBS Livings, Curiosity Stream, Tastemade, Lifetime Movie Club, Acorn TV, Britbox, Noggin, MTV Hits, and Shudder.
The app will allow you subscribe to each service individually, but you can stream them from a single app. All subscriptions are on-demand and ad-free. One unique feature is that all the content is available both online or offline, meaning you can take it with you while you’re traveling. The premium subscriptions support family sharing meaning you can share your subscriptions with up to five people in your household.
The Apple TV App will be available across smart TVs and streaming players starting with Samsung this Spring. It will be coming to other devices including LG, Sony, and VIZIO, as well as Roku and Fire TV players later this year.
Apple joins Amazon and Roku in the battle to manage your premium content subscriptions. In January, Roku launched premium subscriptions on their platform, while there is speculation that Facebook is planning to launch a similar feature later this year.
According to BMO Capital Markets, that Amazon Prime Video Channels grossed $1.7 billion in revenue for the retail giant in 2018, up 150% from last year. It has been reported that Amazon keeps 30% of that, meaning they will net more than $500 million from their streaming partners.
While $500 million would be a drop in the bucket compared to the $200B+ in revenue that Apple makes annually on the iPhone, it would be part of a growing services segment that raked in $9.1B last quarter.
Earlier this year, TDG estimated that nearly 53% of HBO’s direct-to-consumer subscribers came from Amazon Channels. Given the discounted subscription, it seems that HBO is looking to diversify their OTT acquisition channels by partnering with Apple.