Though Netflix undoubtedly dominates the TV streaming landscape these days, the company continues to face increased competition from the likes of Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and — perhaps in a few months — Apple. As crazy as it sounds, Apple is dead serious about getting into the original content game, with the company a few years ago hiring former Sony execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to spearhead the company’s video efforts. What’s more, Apple has plenty of cash to play around with and has already spent a lot of money acquiring a decent amount of original content from a slew of big names.
With Apple poised to get into the streaming space, it’s only natural to wonder if Netflix is the least bit concerned. As it turns out, Netflix seemingly couldn’t care less. And with good reason, there’s mounting evidence that Apple’s TV initiative is disjointed with no clear overarching strategy. At this point, it remains unclear when Apple will start streaming original content (March 2019 is the current rumor) and it also remains unclear how users will access said content. Our best guess is that Apple will bundle its original content with Apple Music.
Touching on this topic, Netflix content guru Ted Sarandos recently had a few words about Apple’s TV initiative during an appearance at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.
“I don’t have any idea what that Apple product is going to be,” Sarandos said in remarks picked up by CNET. “I don’t think anybody does. I don’t think people making shows for them have any idea.”
Interestingly, Sarandos’ remarks echo previous reports we’ve seen about Apple’s TV efforts, namely that the entire initiative remains a work in progress with no clear-cut plan of attack. What’s more, Apple is reportedly keen on shying away from content that features heavy drug use, excessive violence, or lengthy sex scenes. That’s all well and good, but the popularity of HBO’s Game of Thrones underscores that Apple shouldn’t limit itself to strictly PG-13 style content.
Later in the interview, Sarandos noted that Netflix doesn’t typically “put much focus on any competitor.” Suffice it to say, Netflix isn’t at all concerned that Apple — with its massive bank account notwithstanding — will be able to adversely impact its business.