Last week, Apple held a live screening of Horses: Pati Smith and her Band, the company’s documentary focused on Pati Smith. Some industry analysts believe that Horses is just the latest sign of Apple’s push into content production.
“We think that content is always king and the tech companies are starting to understand how king content can drive their businesses,” Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster told The Guardian. “In Apple’s case that’s selling iPhones, in Google’s case it’s advertising, and in Amazon’s that’s selling Amazon Prime memberships.”
The collaboration with Smith is the latest example of Apple using its money to boost the appeal of Apple Music. Prior to the launch of Apple Music, the company purchased Beats By Dre and repurposed the brand to better synergize with its then-new streaming service. Those investments appear to have paid off, as Apple Music currently has around 36 million subscribers and is poised to surpass Spotify.
Beyond music, the company has long expressed a desire to move into the realm of TV and movies. At one point, it had no less than 10 original TV shows in the works. Its recent efforts in that arena, Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, have not caught on with audiences or critics, however.
It’s worth noting that Apple Music had some troubles in its early days. The company reportedly struggled to adapt to the changing market regarding subscription-based music.
Music and video aren’t the only areas that Apple is investing in. It recently purchased Texture, a digital magazine service. This has fueled rumors that Apple may be considering a purchase of Condé Nast. Analyst Munster doubts the accuracy of those rumors, however, citing the fact that consumers are more willing to pay for music and video than print content.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Apple won’t move into the print media business, but Munster believes it is unlikely to purchase a single publisher. Rather, those in the industry believe that we will soon see companies offer a single subscription for print, video, and music.
“Over the next five years, we think there’s going to be one single offering for video, music and print content,” Munster said. “These essentially vertical subscriptions are focused on one type of content – music, video (Netflix or HBO) or print. So the concept is to create all-in-one offerings for different types of media.”
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