‘Transformative’ buy could lift Apple TV subs to 100 million

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apple tv
The Apple TV service expected son could bring in $7 billion to $10 billion annually.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s streaming TV service is going to be a very significant force in the market if a market-analysis firm is correct.

The service the iPhone maker is prepping could, in a few years, garner far more subscribers than some of its established competitors. 

While Apple has kept quiet about aspirations in this area, it’s been quietly acquiring the rights to TV shows for many months. It has now paid for dozens to be produced. And the company is expected to finally unveil its plan on March 25  at a press event dubbed “It’s show time.”

100 million Apple TV subscribers

“If Apple executes with minimal speed bumps and aggressively acquires content given the company’s massive installed base and unmatched brand loyalty we believe reaching 100 million subs in the medium term (3 to 5 years) is a realistic goal,” predicts analysts with Wedbush. 

That would put this streaming video service well ahead of Hulu, which has just 25 million subscribers. And Apple TV would be equal to Amazon Prime. 

But Apple wouldn’t be at the top of the market; that honor goes to Netflix which had 139 million subscribers at the end of last year.

A streaming video arms race

Although Apple already has a number of TV shows in production, it faces heavy competition. “The company is definitely playing from behind the eight ball in this content arms race with Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Hulu, and AT&T/Time Warner all going after this next consumer frontier investing significantly more dollars ($20 billion combined and counting per annum) on content,” warns Wedbush.

The analysts have joined the voices urging Apple to acquire a company that already has a large collection of content. It suggests Apple buy Netflix or  a24, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, CBS/Viacom or MGM, a move it calls “transformative content acquisition.”

Apple has $245 billion in cash that it could use to fund such a purchase.