Is Apple planning a streaming TV rival to Netflix?

5 Feb 2015

In a move that makes massive sense, tech giant Apple is working on developing its own streaming rival to Netflix.

Frustrated with cable companies’ failure to respond to its entreaties Apple is instead talking to content creators themselves to build a body of content that users will access via a subscription.

Such a move with interlock perfectly with the companies efforts to retune iTunes to better compete with music services like Spotify and Pandora, no doubt bolstered by its US$3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics last year.

Apple is understood to be in talks with TV content makers about creating an “over the top” web TV service.

According to Re/Code, citing TV industry executives, Apple will be able to apply its already formidable digital infrastructure and familiar interface and user experience to such a product rather than trying to reinvent TV, as late founder Steve Jobs had threatened.

Such a move isn’t too dissimilar to what Dish has done and what Sony is about to launch shortly.

It means that as well as being able to access TV content on-demand via the existing Apple TV platform, users will be able to get a competing service on their iPad and iPhone devices.

The question is will Apple open the service out to other hardware and operating systems? This is one reason why Netflix has excelled as it is watchable on a myriad of connected devices from computers and smartphones to games consoles and tablets.

As ever, only Apple really knows.

Apple TV image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years