Apple’s still-developing video content strategy could amass a significant subscriber base and generate lots of revenue over the next seven years, according to one analyst.
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said Apple’s video service could contribute strong services revenue growth but won’t be accretive to earnings until further down the road.
She predicts Apple’s video service will attract more than 50 million paid subscribers by 2025 and that the business could be worth $4.4 billion by then. In contrast, Netflix leads all U.S. video streaming services with 124 million global subscribers.
Apple has about 24 original series in production, but the company still has not revealed distribution or pricing strategies for the content.
During an earnings call in August, Apple CEO Tim Cook provided some vague details about the Apple’s video plans.
“As you know, we hired two highly respected television executives last year and they have been here now for several months and have been working on a project that we're not really ready to share all the details of it yet, but I couldn't be more excited about what's going on there and we've got great talent in the area that we've sourced from different places and feel really good about what we will eventually offer,” Cook said.
Last year, Apple lured Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg away from Sony Pictures Television and gave them the reins to Apple’s fledgling original video content business. Since then, Apple has hired on more experienced television executives and announced several projects, along with a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey.
Earlier this year, Tarche New York Times reported that Apple’s original series could begin debuting as soon as March 2019. Apple is taking on Amazon, HBO, Hulu and Netflix with a reported $1 billion content budget. The company has lined up programming including a series about a morning TV show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Apple has also booked a series from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, an “Amazing Stories” reboot from Steven Spielberg and an animated series from the creator of Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers.”