Video streaming, newspapers, games: Apple in the subscription fever

It’s all about services. “After the smartphone market was increasingly saturated, Chinese suppliers increasingly entering the market and users keeping their iPhones longer instead of buying a new model, it was time for Apple to change its strategy.

No new products, but new services with subscription

The change of course was heralded on Monday evening at Apple’s It’s showtime event in Cupertino.

Apple presented in the Steve Jobs Theater, no new products, but new services: the long-awaited video streaming service Apple TV +, a new newspaper flatrate called Apple News + as a subscription model and a gaming offering for the App Store, also on subscription -Base, called Apple Arcade.

For months, Tim Cook is said to have prepared this change in strategy sessions with his teams. Now he is also official. In the future, more and more services and subscription services are to be used to earn money in order to absorb the dents in the iPhone business.

LEAD introduces the new services.

Video streaming service “Apple TV +”

Apple does not want to become a competitor to Netflix, but to earn money with the service above all through brokerage commissions for other TV channels and pay-TV offers such as Hulu and Starz. At the center, however, are exclusive in-house productions that Apple has been working on for some time. Customers can book the exclusive series and movies as a subscription service from autumn 2019. Apple TV + will start in over 100 countries. Lots of stars, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Oprah Winfrey.


About the price for the monthly subscription is not yet known. In any case, Apple TV + is a lure to keep owners of iPhone, iPad and Mac devices on the line. In addition, Apple sells in its renovated TV app, which shines with a new storefront, so-called channels with TV content from other providers such as Hulu. Apple will receive commissions on every mediated booking. The ratio already known by apps was also under discussion: 70 percent for the operators, 30 percent for Apple. Officially this division was not confirmed on Monday evening.

All content is available on demand, online and offline. They also run on macOS devices, Amazon Fire TV and Smart TVs. Samsung will make a start in the spring. LG, Sony and Vizio will follow later this year.

The highlights of the exclusive Apple productions

Amazing Stories: The science fiction series from the 80s is revived by Steven Spielberg.

The Morning Show: The drama surrounding the hosts of a TV breakfast television show features Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Lake: Jason Momoa (Aquaman) stars in the science-fiction drama.

Foundation: The science fiction series is based on books by Isaac Asimov.

Little Voice: The series on the colorful New York music scene produced star director J.J. Abrams (“Lost”).

Peanuts: Charlie Brown, Linus and Snoopy’s iconic animation series will be released with new episodes.

New newspaper flatrate “Apple News +”

Apple News Plus
Around 300 titles include Apple News + at the start (Photo: Apple)

In addition to the video streaming subscription, Apple launches a new newspaper flatrate with “Apple News +”. At the start are about 300 titles on board, mainly English-language magazines. For $ 9.99 subscribers can read all these magazines indefinitely. Apparently, Apple had wished to start more participating publishers in the project that emerged from the acquisition of the newspaper Flatrate “Texture”. But with this subscription, Apple apparently wanted to keep even 50 percent of the commissions for themselves. A share that many publishers did not like.

Renowned newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post have just waved off. You are not at the start. However, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and the Los Angeles Times are prominently represented. Also, many lifestyle magazines, including the Gossip booklet “People” can be found in Apple’s magazine shelf.

New York Times officials warned other publishers of participation in recent days. It was dangerous that individual newspapers and magazines went there in the bulk of the offer and quasi so their independence would risk. The newspaper subscription does not come to Germany for the time being, but will soon launch within Europe, initially only in the UK. In addition to the US, it starts simultaneously in Canada.

As an alternative, Readly offers in Germany, which also has a flatrate for 9.99 € / month on the market, with many German titles. Lastly, Readly won the Springer BILD, BILD am Sonntag, WELT and WELT am Sonntag for a six-month trial.

New game subscription “Apple Arcade”

Apple Arcade

With “Apple Arcade” Apple presents a game subscription, which offers in the fall in 150 countries over 100 new and exclusive games from renowned developers such as the makers of Final Fantasy and Monument Valley.

The price is still unknown. There are no ads in the games, no additional costs and everything can be played offline – even on macOS and Apple TV. In addition, Family Sharing allows all family members to play for free on their own devices.

New credit card “Apple Card”

Apple Card
The Apple Card is initially issued by Apple and Goldman Sachs only in the US (Photo: Apple)

In addition, Apple brings first only in the US out a new credit card, named “Apple Card”. After Apple Pay has made it easier to pay on iOS, Apple now penetrates further into the banking world. US Bank Goldman Sachs and Mastercard are ready to partner. A special feature of the Apple Card is

“Daily Cash”. There are no points on purchases that you collect. But you get money back as a bonus. Two percent will be the “Daily Cash”, the cashback rate. When buying Apple products, it is even 3 percent, even on iTunes and App Store purchases.

“Daily Cash” is paid daily. There are no Apple Card fees and no “Daily Cash” withdrawal limit. The security of the Apple Card is ensured by a special security chip, a number code and Touch ID or Face ID. A card number is not printed on the Titanium credit card, there is also no expiration date and no signatures to buy. Apple wants to revolutionize the credit card market.

Too bad: About a Germany start is (unfortunately) not yet known.

Can Apple’s service plan work?

Five new services promise big additional revenue for Apple. In future bundles of these subscriptions are conceivable. For example, Apple could offer Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple News +, Apple Arcade and the Apple Card in a bundle at a preferential price. Advantage for Apple: All these services bind the user to the Apple ecosystem.

A smart move that can lead the company into a bright future and make Apple less dependent on iPhone sales for years to come. That is exactly what they want to achieve in Cupertino.

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