For now, Apple has focused on publicizing the Apple TV + in the original series of the platform – which is understandable, since, at the time of the debut, only a few programs will be available there.
On the other hand, this leaves a question mark on the subject movies: we know that Apple will also launch features in its service streaming, but we have no idea what the strategy will look like for them. Or rather, we didn’t know; according to Variety, Apple has set a theatrical release date for three of its films to be released next year.
The titles in question are:
- “The Banker”, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie; in theaters on 6/12 and on Apple TV + at the end of January of the following year.
- “The Elephant Queen”, documentary about elephants in Africa; in theaters on 10/18 and on Apple TV + in November.
- “Hala”, drama about a Muslim teenager reconciling her family’s traditions with modern life in the USA; in theaters on 11/22 and on Apple TV + in December.
There is still no information on the breadth of these releases – that is, whether they will be restricted to a few independent movie chains in selected cities or whether we are talking about major releases, with multiple screens on multiple screens running the films. We will have to wait and see, apparently.
Apple may already be giving the cards for its first cinematic releases, but what about the future? THE Wall Street Journal shed light on the matter.
Citing sources close to the subject, the newspaper said that Apple has plans to make traditional releases of its films – that is, launch them first on the cinema circuit for a certain period after that, make them available on Apple TV +. The Apple would be talking to experts on the subject and cinema networks to outline more details about its plan.
It is good to note that the company’s idea is far from making money from the traditional box office. In reality, what Apple wants is prestige: by offering a model in which films would first be released in the cinema, Apple would be able to attract big names in the seventh art – especially those who have not yet swallowed the talk of Netflix to end the distribution in theaters and still prefer to have their creations displayed on the big screen, with all the pomp and circumstance required by the situation.
Currently, major cinema chains only accept to show films if their distributors are willing to sign an exclusive 90-day contract – that is, for 3 months, those titles can only be seen in cinemas. Netflix has challenged this paradigm, but so far it has only found success with small exhibitors: the launch of “Roma” last year was limited to a few rooms in selected cities, and the company’s major title in 2019, “The Irishman ”, You should follow the same path.
If Apple enters this game, it should follow a less daring strategy, respecting the demands of the display chains. THE WSJ cites the example of “On The Rocks”, Sofia Coppola film with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones that Apple is producing: according to sources, the idea is that the film has its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next year, proceed to a theatrical release and, only after that, be made available on Apple TV +.
It remains to be seen what the users of the streaming they will find it all. Netflix has accustomed us to a model in which the company’s launches are seen firsthand by its subscribers, and if Apple decides to take a different path, it must have a very well thought out strategy to convince its users that they are not paying for a worse offer (albeit much cheaper). So let’s see what the next steps in this story will be.
Challenges in Europe
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Apple sees a challenge coming quickly, as reported by Variety. The European Commission defined last year that all platforms for streaming operating in the European Union will need to have, by the end of 2020, 30% of its catalog composed of local productions – something that Apple, obviously, is nowhere near to have.
The bill is not yet fully defined: this year, the EC will decide whether the 30% will be counted according to the number of titles or the number of hours of content available on each platform. Anyway, Apple, with its production almost entirely Hollywoodiana, will not meet this quota: an estimate from Ampere Analysis shows that Apple TV +, when it reaches the European market, will have 38 titles – only 6.2% of which may be considered local productions.
Netflix and Amazon are well ahead in this race: according to estimates, between 20% and 30% of the catalog of companies is already composed of European productions. Who will have an even greater challenge than Apple, on the other hand, will be the giant Mickey Mouse: by calculations, the Disney + it will arrive in the Old World with 982 titles – only 4.7% of which are European.
In order not to face future problems in one of its main markets, Apple is already pulling the strings and getting in touch with European producers and studios. The challenge for Apple is considerable because, unlike Netflix or Amazon (which can simply buy programs already produced from other broadcasters and make them available on their platforms), Apple TV + will consist basically of original content, so the entire creation process and production must be done by the company itself, with local partners.
Things could get even more complicated in the France, where a bill currently being processed may require streaming that 16% of the revenue generated by French subscribers is invested in local content. That prospect, however, is even more distant – and a problem that Apple must be putting in a drawer, to think about later.
Advantage over competitors
Despite this, not everything is uncertain in the near future of Apple TV +: according to one analyst, the Apple and the Amazon will be the big winners of the battle of streaming for a very simple reason – both are the only players in the segment who can make money not only with their platforms, but also with competitors.
The opinion is of the technology consultant Michael J. Wolf. In an interview with CNBC, he said the structure of Apple and Amazon – with their own app stores and ecosystems – has the ability to generate money with multiple streaming. A good example is the Apple TV app, from which consumers will be able to subscribe to various services (and for each of them, Apple will take part of the revenue into their pocket).
According to Wolf, only Disney – due to its influence and financial power – it will have the ability to sell subscriptions directly to its consumers. Other companies in the industry will need, if they are to survive, to sell their services through the ecosystems of Apple and Amazon, giving the two companies more money to invest in their own platforms.
It remains to be seen what the world’s regulatory bodies will think of all this – since, in many ways, the description painted by Wolf sounds a lot like a smelly case of monopoly. Let’s wait.
“For All Mankind”
In other news related to Apple TV +, the platform released the first full trailer of one of the series that will be available at its launch: “For All Mankind”.
To the sound of Aerosmith, the trailer condenses the premise of the series in just under two minutes: a world where the Soviet Union first reached the Moon, the space race never ended and NASA professionals rush to beat rivals in yet another lunar challenge .
“For All Mankind” is a creation of Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Gallactica”), Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi. The series stars Joel Kinnaman (“Suicide Squad”), featuring Michael Dorman, Wrenn Schmidt and Sarah Jones. The first three episodes will be available on the Apple TV + premiere, on November 1st (in selected countries, of course).
Besides “For All Mankind”, Apple released some other trailers for the original children’s series that will debut on November 1st. Check it out:
“Snoopy In Space”
Nice, isn’t it?
via 9to5Mac, Cult of Mac, AppleInsider