Apple Streaming Micromanagement Delays Service

March 5, 2019
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Reports earlier this year indicated that Apple Streaming Service would be ready to launch in March 2019. Sources now believe that the project might not be ready until 2020, with insiders claiming that executive interference is hindering progress.

The streaming service from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will directly compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Disney when it enters the market. Investors who are excited at the prospect of Apple’s digital expansion may now have to wait before seeing any meaningful progress.

Apple Streaming Content Demands Are a Point of Contention

Like Netflix, Apple wants to produce its own video content. This would give the company a unique selling proposition and enable it to compete from the moment of launch. However, there are reported rifts between showrunners and Apple executives.

According to a 2018 report in the New York Post, Apple wants its original programming to be exclusively G-rated. The company has invested more than $1 billion into its original programming projects, but some producers are already skeptical about whether the company can maintain a family-friendly focus.

A more recent report in the Post revealed that Apple is “difficult” to deal with. Producers and agents have cited a “lack of clarity”, “transparency”, and “intrusive” feedback from executives. Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly given his personal feedback on some productions, leaving insiders feeling micromanaged.

Producers are also unhappy about shifting timeframes for the launch of Apple’s streaming service. A source said that “I think people are a little bit irritated because they keep moving the service launch.” The source also claimed that “They are making big changes, firing and hiring new writers. There’s a lack of clarity on what they want. A lot of the product is not as good as they hoped it to be.”

All of this suggests an atmosphere of turmoil, but investors should be careful not to overreact to the news.

The Apple Streaming Service is in its Infancy

Apple announced their intention to create a video streaming service in 2017. Original programming can sometimes take years to develop, as has been seen in the case of Netflix and Amazon.

Apple has free cash to spend on this project. Delays can be absorbed. Investors should take news reports into account, but also look at the wider context of the business. In terms of internal finances and core strategy, Apple is on the right path.

Apple stock price has increased 11.48% year to date. Good news surrounding the streaming project would be welcome, but delays and reports of tension are not likely to derail this stock any time soon.

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