Apple TV Plus is the ultimate test of Apples brand magic

first_img Apple Event Crutchfield HBO Disney Amazon Hulu Netflix Apple 43 It’s showtime for Apple’s streaming service Now playing: Watch this: Aug 26 • Every Apple TV Plus show announced so far Now playing: Watch this: Apple teases its original shows in new trailer While Apple will have you believe it’s breaking new ground, the truth is it’s just one of myriad players going after cord-cutters. There are a host of services including HBO, Hulu and YouTube all going after subscription dollars, while another highly anticipated option from Disney, which will tie together kids programming, Star Wars and Marvel content, will launch this year. Apple’s option to bundle different subscriptions like HBO and Starz through its Apple TV Channel app, meanwhile, looks a lot like the Amazon Prime Video Channels program offered to Prime subscribers. One advantage that Apple seems to be pushing: a focus on privacy and a safe space away from advertisers. If there’s one theme the company hit time and time again, it’s that these services would respect your personal information.  It’s tough to discount Apple entirely. After all, Apple Music came out of nowhere to capture the No. 2 spot behind Spotify. Then there are the myriad of hit products, from the game-changing iPhone to the iPod and MacBook Air. The company is hoping history repeats itself with video. But without a price yet (the service launches in the fall in more than 100 countries), it’s still unclear what the demand will be. “Apple’s advantage is certainly that they have such large resources — they showcased today that they can line up big Hollywood stars to make this happen,” said Gartner analyst Annette Zimmerman. “And maybe even more important — they gave a hint towards the themes they want to address with their own shows/movies, not light and easy topics but rather societal issues that not only the US-based users can relate to.” Apple waited until the end to show off its lineup of celebrities and projects for its Apple TV Plus.  Apple Between Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Sofia Coppola, Apple showed off a star-studded lineup for its newly unveiled Apple TV Plus service. Consistent with the Apple way of building up its products and services, the superlatives poured forth from CEO Tim Cook. “It’s unlike anything that’s been done before,” he said at an event on Monday at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters’ Steve Jobs Theater.  Given the talent signed on to Apple, you might be under the impression that this is a groundbreaking, must-have service. After all, who are we to question Oprah? See It Best Buy Apple Event Aug 29 • New iPhones, Apple Watch and more: Apple’s September event preview $179 Oprah joins the Apple family with two new documentaries Mentioned Above Apple TV 4K (32GB) 2:45 Comments Tags See All Killer app: Privacy While celebrities lined up to sing Apple TV Plus’s praises, we saw little footage from the individual projects aside from a sizzle reel at the end. For now, it’s not enough to get people excited about the prospect of spending more money, despite the star power. One recurrent theme at the event was Apple’s focus on privacy. The company noted that article recommendations from Apple News Plus would happen on device, so the company won’t know what you like to read.  Another perk for the News service: Advertisers won’t track you. Cook calls the App Store, “A safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps.” Apple has spent the last few years talking up the privacy aspects of its products and services but ramped up its focus in the last few months as other tech titans have fumbled with how they’ve handled the personal information of their users. Stumbles by Google and Facebook have raised questions about how seriously the tech world considers our information.  It’s a nice story for Apple to present. But time will tell if its fans tune in for the exclusive stories on its TV service.  For now, competitors like Netflix aren’t sweating too much — even with Apple’s storied history of success.  Originally published March 25, 11:54 a.m. PT. Update, 2:25 p.m. PT: Adds analyst comments. Update, March 26 at 4 a.m. PT: Adds additional background.  3:03 Aug 30 • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11R and 11 Max: Price, specs and features we expect on Sept. 10 1:36center_img Review • Apple TV 4K review: The best TV streamer keeps getting better See It $179 But if you wanted to get HBO with your Hulu, you need to sign up for its cablelike live-TV service known as Hulu + Live TV, which starts at $45 monthly and then requires an additional $15 a month for the premium network. And then there are things like AMC Premiere. The Walking Dead’s network offers fans the option to pay an extra $5 a month to stream its shows without any of its ads and watch certain shows two days before they air, but you need to already be paying for AMC through a typical pay-TV provider. That headache-inducing complexity of navigating online video subscriptions could play in Apple’s favor, at least in the US. The company is touting Apple TV as a simplified hub for streaming services and cable channels. Big spenders Apple was long reported to have kicked off its original programming mission with a $1 billion budget, but the company has flown past that. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield estimated Apple’s budget has swelled to $2 billion a year. While that seems big, especially for a gadget giant with barely any background in programming, it pales in comparison with Netflix. The streaming company, operating the world’s biggest subscription video service by members, spent $12 billion on content last year. That budget could surpass $15 billion this year, according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon. But Netflix’s big spending is unprecedented for a company that doesn’t touch live sports. Netflix’s head of content, Ted Sarandos, once said the company was trying to become HBO before HBO could become Netflix. Purely based on budget, Netflix passed that point long ago. Research firm Kagan estimated that HBO spent $2.5 billion in 2017, compared with the $6 billion Netflix spent then. (HBO’s spending is sure to rise in 2019: John Stankey, the new head the unit that oversees the premium channel, said one of AT&T’s plans as HBO’s new parent company would be to boost the network’s programming budget.) Even Amazon was expected to spend $5 billion in video content last year, according to JPMorgan’s Doug Anmuth.  But Apple’s legendary track record with products may not automatically equate to success elsewhere. For one, Hollywood is a tough business and one that Apple has little experience in. Spending an estimated $2 billion on A-list talent garners a whole lot of buzz, but it’s no guarantee of success. Its first forays into original programming — Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps — flopped.  (Note: Carpool Karaoke originally emerged out of the The Late Late Show on CBS, the parent company of CNET.) So Apple TV Plus represents the biggest test of whether its loyal fanbase will hoover up all of its services like it lines up at its stores for the latest iPhone. The company’s focus on services, which include newly unveiled Apple News Plus and Apple Arcade, as well as a revamp of its Apple TV app, comes as the company attempts to transform itself into a company that’s less reliant on the iPhone, which provides two-thirds of its revenue. There are 1.4 billion Apple devices out there, an ideal platform for its services business, which in the December quarter jumped 19 percent to a record $10.9 billion. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Apple TV 4K Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 97 Photos More from the Apple event What will it cost? Want to stir up some internet rage? Announce a price hike to a beloved streaming service. Netflix found that out the hard way once after dropping a sudden 60 percent hike on customers, driving away members in droves. Since then, Netflix has become an expert at tapping its prices gently higher every couple of years. It announced its latest price increase earlier this year. In the US, Netflix’s plans range between $9 and $16.  Its cheapest plan received the first bump in almost eight years. For now, Apple remains mum on the pricing for Apple TV Plus. The company has a history of pricing its hardware at a premium, but its Apple Music service, at $10 a month, is in line with Spotify. Peter Stern, Apple's vice president of servicesPeter Stern, Apple’s vice president of services, talks about the different services on Apple TV.  Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET The other side of the streaming video coin is Apple TV Channels, which bundles different services like HBO and Starz with livestreaming TV services like DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue. Cable and satellite companies like Charter and DirecTV will integrate their services into Apple TV, while Optimum and Altice will join later this year. Having a hub for all of your shows makes a lot of sense. Consulting firm PwC notes that consumers increasingly want a single source for programming. But Apple hasn’t talked about pricing for the channels, although you can look elsewhere for clues. HBO as an Amazon Channel, for example, costs $15 a month for people who already subscribe to the $119-a-year Amazon Prime service, the same price you’d pay if you signed up directly for HBO Now. Starz costs $9 a month — again, the same price as for an online customer. But the more you look at competitive pricing, the more confusing it can be. Hulu, for example, would compete with Apple by offering both video-on-demand for exclusive originals as well as its giant library of programs from giant networks like NBC, ABC, Fox, FX, Bravo and others. That starts at just $6 a month with ads or $12 a month if you want to pay to strip them out. Aug 30 • Apple will launch iPhone 11 on Sept. 10 in Cupertino $179 TV and Movies Digital Media • See It Apple Everything Apple announced Apple TV Channels streaming service is here, wants to run the show All the Apple TV shows and series announced Apple introduces new Apple Card, a virtual credit card See all our Apple event coverage Kumail Nanjiani talks up new show, Little America reading • Apple TV Plus is the ultimate test of Apple’s brand magic $169 See it Preview • Apple TV 4K: New $179 Apple streamer adds HDR, better gaminglast_img read more

CU suspends BCL leader for entry test forgery

first_imgChittagong University has suspended two students, including a leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), for their alleged complicity in supplying electronic devices for cheating in the ongoing admission test.BCL is the student wing of ruling Bangladesh Awami League.The suspended students are HMG Ishtiaq and Shariful Islam Nazmul. Ishtiaq, a student of Marketing department, is the joint secretary of the suspended BCL CU unit committee while Shariful is a student of English Literature and Language department.Mohammad Niaz Morshed, assistant proctor of the university, told Prothom Alo on Friday that Ishtiaq and Shariful have been suspended and served show-cause notice for their involvement with the gang that committed the forgery during the test.On Thursday, the police arrested Ishtiaq on charge of fraudulence in the admission test from Chittagong city’s Chakbazar area.Three electronic devices were recovered from Ishtiaq’s possession, Bayezid Bostami police station officer-in-charge Abul Kalam Azad told Prothom Alo.last_img read more

BNP accuses AL of destroying liberation war spirit

first_imgBNPBangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday alleged that whenever Awami League came to power it destroyed the spirit of the liberation war, reports UNB.”We waged the liberation war in 1971 with a dream to build a democratic and modern state ensuring the freedom of expression. But the dream still remains unimplemented. Whenever Awami League got the chance to come power, it destroyed the spirit of liberation war,” he said.The BNP leader came up with the comments while speaking at a discussion at Mohanagar Natya Mancha in the city, arranged by the party marking the Martyred Intellectual Day.He alleged that the government is taking all-out steps to eliminate its opponents and those who hold alternative opinions.Fakhrul called upon people from all walks of life to get united to restore democracy and freedom of expression in the country.He said the government has completely politicised the administration and brought the judiciary under the control of the ruling party.The BNP leader alleged that those who are raising their voice against the current regime are being made disappeared, killed, harassed and implicated in ‘false’ cases.Turning to the next election issue, he urged the government to engage in talks with political parties for finding out an acceptable way for holding the polls in a credible manner as per the hopes and aspirations of people. Otherwise, Fakhrul warned, the government will have to face serious public wraths.BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said they heard that a conspiracy is on to keep them out of the election race by implicating the BNP chairperson and all other leaders in cases and ensuring their conviction.”But we want to say unequivocally that the 11th national election will not be similar to the 2014 polls as it will not be allowed to hold such an election,” he said.If the 11th general election is held like the one held in 2014, it will only kill democracy, the spirit of the liberation war and that of the martyred intellectuals. “So, the BNP which was founded by freedom fighter late president Ziaur Rahman will never let it do so,” Mosharraf added.Another BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said the independence of the country’s judiciary and the Supreme Court was hampered by the government. “Now the government forces judges to resign as it made former chief justice SK Sinha to do so by humiliating and insulting them on any silly ground.”Presided over by Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the discussion was also addressed by BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan, BNP vice chairperson Selima Rahman, Dhaka University professors Mahbubullah and Sukomal Barua.BNP publicity secretary Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie and its assistant publicity secretary Amirul Islam Khan Alim moderated the discussion.last_img read more