Netflix expects Apple's TV shows to stream via iTunes, now considers it a major competitor

Netflix expects Apple's TV shows to land on iTunes, now considers it a major competitor
Netflix just reported a stellar fourth quarter with more than $3 billion in revenue, yet it is now considering Apple amongst its direct competitors. Wait, what? Yes, the streaming giant took to investors to list both Apple and Amazon as forces to potentially reckon with in the world of streaming entertainment and original content:

Apple has taken note of the cordcutting trend, and the runaway success that Netflix, HBO, Hulu and other streamers that produce original content have become, and is said to be producing no less than ten new shows and other original content this year. With an installed base of more than a billion potential viewers who are used to paying for media through iTunes, Apple could immediately become the next big thing on the trendy "what to watch" block.

Unlike Netflix, however, whose stratospheric rise is fueled by copious amounts of debt (so far $20 billion and counting), Apple will apparently take a more measured approach, earmarking "just" a billion for testing the original content streaming waters. That's not to say that the team from Cupertino is not ambitious, though - Eddy Cue is on record saying that they want to acquire or produce shows on the level of Game of Thrones, and, knowing Apple's money, they could very well do so. For comparison, HBO spent two billion on original programming last year, and Apple could easily double or triple the amount invested if the shoe fits.

Still, Netflix is way ahead with $6 billion spent on own shows and content last year, though there is a lot of fluff in it, while Apple usually takes a more targeted approach when it comes to quality, regardless of what one might think about shows like Planet of the Apps. On the other hand, subscribing to Netflix or HBO Go via the App Store nets Apple 15% each time, so it has to be careful not to antagonize those streamers too much, now that its revenue from various digital services is skyrocketing, compared to hardware sales. Apple recently poached two execs from Sony Entertainment, too, so it finally seems bent on building a proper media empire, and Netflix is taking note.

source: Netflix (PDF)

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