It’s being reported that Apple is considering bundling its news service, digital magazines, and streaming music/video services into a single subscription package. This is a really great way for Apple to pull people into their ecosystem. Think about what they offer already in terms of the ecosystem. If you’ve got an iPhone and a Mac product or an iPad, you already know that what happens on one device, happens on another device. I for one, am a huge fan of the hand-off feature and the interoperability between devices. For example, I just got a text message from my sister-in-law on my iPhone, but since I’m working on my MacBook now, I can quickly respond to her that way. I don’t know how people survive any other way.
So when Apple is throwing their services together, you have to at least take a look at what that might mean for you. Let’s think about this for a minute though. Apple Music already has 40 million subscribers worldwide. Apple is also already starting to invest in their own original video content. Which means, this kind of seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? It’s also a really great way to compete with the likes of Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon. I think that’s the real driving force here. Although, we’re not really comparing apples to apples with any of these. No pun intended. Apple is competing with all of these companies but in different ways. Which begs the question – does Apple have it in them to actually take on these other powerhouses?
Don’t get me wrong, Apple has a very strong brand, and their ecosystem is certainly growing. But I’m not sure that it can be a one-stop shop. Amazon has 100 million Prime subscribers, worldwide. But with Prime, you get so much. Think about it. Many people simply sign up for Prime so they can get one or two-day shipping options. But Amazon offers Prime subscribers access to TV, music, books, magazines etc. Which is what Apple seems to be doing.
But with Apple, you’re not getting anything, really. I mean, you have to pay for the devices and the services. And while I said I love the interoperability of it all, I’m not sure that it’s worth the cost. Getting back to the Amazon example, you’re physically getting something. If I order something from Amazon, and I’m a Prime member, I get faster shipping, but I can also watch their original content.
Apple isn’t set up that way though. Because in the end, you’re not actually receiving a product. Now that’s just Amazon. Netflix has earmarked a ton of cash ($8 billion to be exact) in order to produce original content this year. So when I said that Amazon is their biggest competition and what seems to be the driving force, it’s not the only one. But then this makes me wonder if Apple should just stick to what they know – which is devices? I am not against Apple branching out and trying new things, but I’m not convinced that it’s going to have the impact that they think it will, or even hope it will.