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Streaming wars: potent new entry in the crowded, cutthroat field

Business giant Apple Inc. will reportedly need to fund a just-announced commercial venture of epic proportions with “potentially tens of billions of dollars.”

Here’s the bottom line concerning that concern, though, which likely doesn’t surprise a single reader of our entertainment law posts at the Law Offices of Barry K Rothman: It likely isn’t a concern, even remotely.

It’s no secret that Apple is a cash cow. Few people would bet against the company’s ability to raise an astronomical amount of bucks to jumpstart a new venture. And that holds true even for an entry into a new realm that a recent CNN article notes “is incredibly cost-intensive” and with “a gazillion” foes to contend with.

That increasingly crowded and ultra-competitive sphere is program streaming, a platform that enables paying subscribers to make on-demand video viewing choices.

As CNN underscores, Apple’s rivals in the field are already abundant and cutthroat. Apple will have “a ton of deeply entrenched competition out there.”

Here’s something notably obvious about Apple, though: the company’s history does not acknowledge retreat when it comes to commercial challenges. Apple CEO Tim Cook boldly took to a podium earlier this week to flatly announce his company’s intent to prosper in the new business realm via the projected rollout of Apple TV+ sometime this autumn.

Notwithstanding Apple’s might and instant credibility in any context, the executives from already up-and-running rivals are likely not quaking with fear in their boardroom chairs. The CNN piece duly notes that Netflix is a veritable Godzilla in the industry, with nearly 140 million paid subscribers globally. Other major players -- including Amazon, Hulu, Disney and WarnerMedia -- have also carved out solid niches in the streaming universe.

It can’t be closely projected presently how Apple’s streaming entry will change the field, of course, but one thing will be certain come this fall: the menu for consumers who use streaming services will be materially expanded.

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