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Soon you may pay Apple by the month for video, music, and news

Soon you may pay Apple by the month for video, music, and news
[Photo: courtesy of Apple]

Apple has been thinking about bundling together its growing menu of digital content and selling it in a single bundle for a competitive price. The subscription package, according to a new report from the Information‘s Jessica Toonkel, would likely include music, Apple original video content, and magazine articles. The report cites two unnamed sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans.

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An Apple bundle would leverage the company’s widening selection of streaming content and its budding original video content business. On June 15, for instance, Apple’s content team—led by two former Sony executives—inked a multiyear content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, in addition to an existing deal with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.

 

An Apple bundle might be competitive against Amazon and Netflix given its variety of media: Netflix doesn’t offer music, for instance, and Apple may be better than Amazon at targeting content to users’ tastes. (YouTube and even Spotify could also be competitors.) But the video part of the Apple bundle won’t be as large and diverse as Netflix’s or Amazon’s catalog for a long time. Apple reportedly has set a relatively meager $1 billion budget for acquiring content and production in 2018.

“While well below the $5 billion Amazon is spending and Netflix’s $8 billion-plus budget, the sum is a big new bet for a company that has always shied away from buying content, relying on extensive partnerships with television and movie studios with iTunes,” Toonkel wrote.

It remains unclear when Apple would launch the TV-music-news bundle. The company declined to comment.

Apple’s services business has been growing quickly, even as sales of iPhones have slowed. The bundling model could accelerate the sales of services like Apple Music, which already has more than an estimated 40 million paid subscribers. In a note on Monday, Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets wrote that Apple Music and Apple’s original-video efforts could mean between $10 billion and $12 billion in revenue three years from now.

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