According to Bloomberg, Apple TV Plus is coming to a tv screen near you this November. The early debut is part of Apple's quest to reach $50 billion in service sales. So yeah, that's a lot. but you know what's not a lot? The price to stream.
Apple plans to make the service cost $9.99, which puts it one dollar above the basic Netflix cost of $8.99 -- and two dollars less than Hulu's $11.99 plan. Disney's plan is to ask for $6.99 for their service.
So what does this mean for the streaming wars?
Things are obviously heating up.
November marks the debut of Disney's service as well, Disney+. Soon, we'll be swimming in content, and each of these massive companies will hope consumers choose them. Netflix still leads the way in terms of creating original content, but Apple has been purchasing ideas and plans to make a splash with their release of Morning Show.
At a first glance, this means great potential opportunities for creators.
We're nearing 500 shows available on the air each year and streaming can bring that number to the thousands pretty quickly thanks to binging, people are watching entire seasons in a week and constantly scrolling for find new gems.
Each of these new networks are going to have to fill their services with content. Especially places like Apple, who don't have TV shows or movies lying around they own. They need to build a stable of shows, so they'll be big buyers early on.
Apple’s opening slate of shows will include The Morning Show, Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, See with Jason Momoa, Truth Be Told with Octavia Spencer, and a documentary series about mansions called Home.
TV used to run through pilot season, but now that new content is created year round, that seasons is slowly dissipating and becoming a year-long endeavor. That means people are constantly buying, so you have to have your pitch ready to take out as soon as possible.
You can be writing pilots year round as well.
Really, what this means is that we are shifting toward different forms of narrative.
We traditionally see hour-long and thirty minute samples, but companies like Quibi are going ti push the 5-15min format. That means writing needs to transform with the time. Streamers are not beholden to commercials, so episodes will be as long as they need to be and can evolve based on the genre and need within the industry.
This is a really exciting time to be a creator because there is a need for creativity and action.
What are the downsides?
Because this content requires clicks to make a profit, we're returning to a system where recognizable faces and names are incredibly important to sales. As are reasonable budgets. This is mirroring what's going on in the film industry, but with TV it's always been easier to cast an unknown and to count on a break out.
The star system now needs to adjust to who is marketable. TV use to be an actor graveyard, now it's a great place to break in and to play complicated characters.
Again, the one thing that remains true is that the best writing will rise to the top and hopefully be purchased.
So get writing!