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Old 03-19-2019, 12:30 PM   #1
OtinG
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Apple's "It's Show Time" media event discussion thread

We can use this thread to discuss the upcoming Apple's "It's Show Time" media event which is taking place on 25 March 2019. This gives us plenty of time to speculate and express out thoughts and opinions before the event, and then discuss what Apple actually announces during the event.

ETA: As the OP, I think it is appropriate to compare/discuss other streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Hulu with Live TV, Sling, DirecTV Now, Amazon Prime, et cetera, at least in the context of how they compare to whatever Apple introduces. I also say ditto for other devices like the Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, et cetera, at least in the context of how they compare to the Apple TVs or any new hardware Apple might release.

The "It's Show Time" media event is probably going to be about Apple's new streaming service as well as Apple's new revised News service. It might also introduce some new hardware, though I haven't heard any reliable rumors to that effect yet.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Announcements and Information from the It's Show Time Event
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: This will be periodically updated during the event.

10:04am PDT: Opening statement: "Today is ALL about services."

10:09am PDT: Apple News is first topic.

--------- News+ Service ($9.99/month)---------

10:11am PDT: Apple News now includes magazines. They renamed the new service Apple News+.

10:14am PDT: Apple News+ includes over 300 magazines.

10:21am PDT: Apple News+ includes premium digital subscriptions like the LA Times and WSJ.

10:20am PDT: Apple News+ forbids advertisers from tracking you.

10:20am PDT: Apple News+ costs $9.99/month and can be shared with everyone in your family at no extra cost.

10:21am PDT: Apple News+ is available starting today for USA and Canada (25 March 2019) in iOS 12.2.

--------- Card Service---------

10:28am PDT: Apple Card is a brand new service for credit cards.

10:32am PDT: Apple Card has a feature called Daily Cash which is a cash back program that pays you everyday. Every time you pay with Apple Pay / Card you get 2% cash back that day. You get 3% cash back when paying for Apple services or products bought from Apple.

10:36am PDT: Apple Card has NO fees at all, they claim. Interest rates will be low.

10:36am PDT: Apple Card is a partnership with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.

10:38am PDT: With Apple Card Apple does not track what you buy, how much you paid, where you bought it, or any of that kind of information on the Apple servers. No data/info will ever be shared with other sources.

--------- Arcade Service ($?.??/month TBA)---------

10:42am PDT: The biggest category in the App Store is Gaming.

10:44am PDT: Apple is introducing the Apple Arcade Service.

10:49am PDT: Every game is available for offline playing.

10:50am PDT: Apple Arcade will not track any user data. It can be shared with whole family for no additional charge. It is an "all you can play" service.

10:50am PDT: Apple Arcade will be available this Fall. Pricing and detail will come later...

--------- TV+ Service ($?.??/month TBA)---------

10:52am PDT: Apple TV App now contains channels plus they added movies and access to your cable/satellite/streaming service through the Apple TV.

10:56am PDT: Apple TV App now allows On Demand for all channels, movies, etc. without Ads.

10:58am PDT: Apple TV App now allows you to view various sources/channels from one app without having to bounce around between different apps.

11:02am PDT: Apple TV still looks to me to be a cluttered interface. I have not seen any TV schedules, just categories where you explore what is on from all of your sources. The interface reminds me of the Amazon Prime interface, which is cluttered and not very good for quickly finding what you want unless you already know what that is. Looks like a lot scrolling and exploring rather than quickly finding someting to watch and actually watching it. Meh...

11:05am PDT: Apple TV new stuff available this May and updating the Apple TV App this Fall. Apple will bring the Apple TV App to smart TVs, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

11:05am PDT: Apple TV App will never share your data with anyone.

11:05am PDT: Apple TV experience to be called  TV+ Service.

11:13am PDT: A whole lot of yapping about  TV+ Service, but they are NOT giving many details. Seems to me they probably don't have many details to give at this point. Seems to be half baked based on what I'm seeing, or not seeing, but no telling what it might actually develop into.

11:17am PDT: Spielberg on stage talking about the resurrection of the Amazing Stories TV series. Other actors on stage talking about their shows. Yawn...

11:30am PDT: Still a bunch more actors on stage talking about their shows. Hard to stay awake at this point. A lot of fluff and flare but very little substance or details...

11:35am PDT: To sum up what we have learned so far about  TV+ Service far is best illustrated by and .

11:38am PDT: Apparently  TV+ Service will emphasize original programming and hopes to be the single best destination for customers to get that. How it will achieve that is very unclear.

11:41am PDT: The  TV+ Service will be an Ad-free subscription service. Coming this Fall.

11:50am PDT: They never said how much the  TV+ Service will cost.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That is all from It's Show Time Event
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
....

Last edited by OtinG; 03-25-2019 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:47 PM   #2
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Way back when, the original intent for Apple TV was to be the one source of all TV/Video content. You could go there and say "I want to watch Gilligan's Island", or "I want to watch the US men's soccer match" or "I want to watch "Aquaman" and boom there it is, no need to know what streaming service is providing it, no flipping through channels. Apple TV would go out and find it for you. That would be great if it ever happened.

Unfortunately, after Netflix and Hulu turned into big successes, the Movie Studios and TV Studios all decided that they could be as rich as Jeff Bezos if they create their own individual streaming service, remove the middle man and not have to share those bucks with anyone. That caused the middle men (Netflix, Amazon and Apple) to decide that they needed to create their own content since the movie studios and TV studios didn't want to play nice.

What would be nice is if Apple announced their new streaming service and deals with most of the major content providers, but I suspect that's a pipe dream. I expect that it's going to be more of a "These are all our cool new original programs, plus we signed a deal to get limited access to a couple content providers video library", i.e. nothing that's going to move the dial much for me. If it's part of Apple's overall music subscription, then I'll take a look at it. If it's another $10 a month in addition to Apple Music, well, not so much, especially since I suspect it will be oriented towards the 30 and below set, rather than old fogies like me.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:56 AM   #3
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... I expect that it's going to be more of a "These are all our cool new original programs, plus we signed a deal to get limited access to a couple content providers video library", i.e. nothing that's going to move the dial much for me. If it's part of Apple's overall music subscription, then I'll take a look at it. If it's another $10 a month in addition to Apple Music, well, not so much, especially since I suspect it will be oriented towards the 30 and below set, rather than old fogies like me.
I think you'd be right. I've been entertained to see spec updates for iMac and iPad over the last couple of days... clearly their focus is no longer on hardware, or the event would have included these as well. Disappointing. I have current subs to Netflix and Amazon Prime, plus theres the free Kanopy, and TV stations online services (here in Oz, I only bother with ABC iView and SBSonDemand) and really its enough. I can't see Apple producing anything I would be interested in. I'm an old fogie also.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:28 AM   #4
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I cut the cable TV cord about two months ago. I live in a town that only offers one cable option and that is Spectrum. We can get DirecTV and Dish too, but they are both really bad on service. I kept the Spectrum 200 Mbps internet but cancelled their cable. For live TV streaming I tested out Sling, Playstation Vue, DirecTV Now, and Hulu with Live TV, and I settled on Hulu with Live TV. I’ve had Amazon Prime Video for several years now, but I don’t watch much on it as Amazon seems to want to charge extra for most of the shows I like. I tried Netflix a few times over the years but they rarely have movies I want to watch. I had Hulu regular and liked it okay, so it was good to get the live TV through it too. I too am not optimistic about Apple’s new or revised service being anything I will want. Apple is really greedy and I doubt I could afford their new service, but mostly I think it will be geared toward Millennials and younger, and at 61 I doubt they will offer much that interests me.

I like Apple hardware and have been using it on and off since the Apple II+ I bought in the early 1980s. My first Mac was a Mac SE in 1986. Unfortunately Apple seems to be losing their way in hardware again. I hope they don’t repeat their mistakes from the 1990s that very nearly saw them go out of business.
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:22 AM   #5
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...I hope they don’t repeat their mistakes from the 1990s that very nearly saw them go out of business.
I think they are already on the way. The hardware has become so expensive that most average people can no longer afford it, their focus has changed/moved to mobile computing and although I love my iPads, they cannot replace my Mini or macbook. I read somewhere that they are still striving for an OS which will work on both platforms and that was looking more like the mobile than the desktop.. I confess to have been looking at Windows laptops of late... I want to be prepared for the time when my 2012 and 2010 hardware no longer works the way I need it to (that is, when my apps are updated and will no longer work with the OS version). My Macbook is on High Sierra, and the Mini on Mojave but I think thats the end of the line for both.

I started out with a MacPlus in 1992, but once out of University, switched to PC until 2003 when I bought my first OSX based computer. A very sensible eMac. I loved it.

The word elitist springs to mind when I think of Apple, these days. I'm sure they long for a return to the heady days of yore... but times have changed, and I think they are making a mistake not catering for the average joe. Its the old problem. Do you want to sell 10 things at $10,000, or 100 things at $1200 (I'm thinking Aus prices now)
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:50 AM   #6
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It will be interesting to see what they offer but will there be anything other than a rework of Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube TV? Personally, my ROKU does it all now including a USB port to stream digital content.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:01 AM   #7
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I think they are already on the way. The hardware has become so expensive that most average people can no longer afford it, their focus has changed/moved to mobile computing and although I love my iPads, they cannot replace my Mini or macbook. I read somewhere that they are still striving for an OS which will work on both platforms and that was looking more like the mobile than the desktop.. I confess to have been looking at Windows laptops of late... I want to be prepared for the time when my 2012 and 2010 hardware no longer works the way I need it to (that is, when my apps are updated and will no longer work with the OS version). My Macbook is on High Sierra, and the Mini on Mojave but I think thats the end of the line for both.

I started out with a MacPlus in 1992, but once out of University, switched to PC until 2003 when I bought my first OSX based computer. A very sensible eMac. I loved it.

The word elitist springs to mind when I think of Apple, these days. I'm sure they long for a return to the heady days of yore... but times have changed, and I think they are making a mistake not catering for the average joe. Its the old problem. Do you want to sell 10 things at $10,000, or 100 things at $1200 (I'm thinking Aus prices now)
I think that the real issue is that Jobs was very focused on the device solving a specific problem. He understood why people love their Apple devices and was customer focused. His original view of iTunes was that customers could buy any song for a buck. The difference price points was forced on him by the music companies. He never tried to nickle and dime the customer.

Cook on the other hand is a supply side sort of guy and I don't think really understands why customers buy Apple. I already see the the attempts to extract more money out of the customer with little nickle and dime sort of stuff. The idea that developers should move to the subscription model is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of from a customer point of view. Apps that move in that direction will be dropped by me.

Amazon at least puts everything into one yearly (at least I pay yearly) fee. I get Prime mostly for delivery, but they have really expanded their Prime included video, so I'm starting to watch more. Prime is all about keeping the customer in the Amazon ecosystem so they buy more. If Apple gets that, and rolls out a service that keeps you in the Apple/iTunes ecosystem so you buy more movies/books/music/whatever then it might work, i.e. it's included in the Apple music subscription. If it's you pay $10 a month for Apple music, $10 a month for Apple video, $10 a month for iCloud, ad infinitum, well then I'm not going to go for it.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:36 AM   #8
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They just announced that Disney has closed on it's $71.3 B deal to acquire 21st Century Fox. It will be interesting to see how things work once Disney finally releases it's streaming service. At one time the Jobs connection might have meant some sort of deal with Apple.

Kind of interesting that Netflix has announced that they will not be part of the Apple streaming service. That implies that there will be at least some 3rd party libraries that are part of the service.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:07 AM   #9
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The announcement from Netflix seems to indicate that Apple wanted to directly stream at least parts of the Netflix offerings in a transparent manner. It makes me wonder if Apple is trying to make deals with services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. where you don't have to pay for each of those services individually but would instead have one subscription through Apple's service and be able to transparently get movies and shows from other services. But apparently Apple was asking for a 30% fee from Netflix, and I assume other streaming services, for that privilege. It makes sense to have the biggest library for streaming by transparently including parts of the other streaming services's libraries while only having to pay for one subscription, but it would also be extremely complex to negotiate all of that. Basically that is what cable/satellite providers do. They sign contracts with as many TV stations and networks as they can to provide a large library of available programming. But that leads to expensive service.

With the current trend of providers for live TV content (TV stations and networks) starting to offer their own paid streaming services, that will also get very expensive to us consumers! To watch all of CBS's programs you have to subscribe to their all access streaming package and pay for that privilege. That is on top of what you pay cable/satellite/streaming service to view the regular CBS shows. That is ridiculous! Before long the greed will be so high that none but the wealthiest will be able to watch TV. We will have to amuse ourselves with shadow puppets and community theater.

Here in the USA the government still requires broadcast TV stations to actually broadcast their offerings over the air (OTA). That means if you live close enough to local TV broadcasting towers you can receive OTA content for free. But you only get the local broadcast stations, not the cable only stations nor any stations not located in your geographical area. So basically OTA means at best you get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, CW, and a bunch of independent stations that broadcast old reruns from decades ago. If you live in a large enough metro area you will likely get programming for non-English language stations too. But I suspect one day the government will remove that OTA broadcasting requirement and then most of our OTA channels will go off the airwaves and only be available through paid subscriptions.

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Old 03-20-2019, 12:11 PM   #10
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Really, we went through all this before with music. Eventually, the various record companies figured out that licensing the music to 3rd party services was the best deal they were going to get.

Unfortunately, the video companies are fighting it tooth and nail with Disney leading the way. Disney seem to think the way to get ahead is simply buy out the competition. Once again a situation where the government granted monopoly aka super long copyright, has grossly distorted the market. With a 28 year copyright, there isn't nearly the incentive to buy out everyone else, all those pre 1960 movies and shows would already be in PD.

You can only fleece the public so much. Eventually, the price gets to the point where the consumer says enough and moves on to something else. Cable companies have already found that out. Consumers aren't going to pay for 5 or 6 different streaming services. At best, they will pick the 2 or 3 that gets the most of what they want.

I still have cable, but it's basic cable plus a sports package with nothing else. At one time, I had several premium channels such as HBO and Showtime, but it got to be too expensive and typically there was only one or two new movies a month that I wanted to watch. Better to get Rome or Band of Brothers on DVD.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:32 PM   #11
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I switched to Hulu with Live TV more because of Spectrum's horrible service than to escape their high prices. Spectrum TV became as unreliable as DirecTV on a cloudy day! Spectrum's internet service is rock solid, and reliable, but cable service was crumbling after they bought out and switched it to what had been Time Warner Cable. TWC always sucked as far as I'm concerned. They had the market cornered in Austin when I lived there. At any rate, I do save some money using Hulu with Live TV, especially since I already was subscribing to the regular Hulu and now that is included. But it isn't much savings. Nothing to write home about, as they say. However, barely a month after starting Hulu with Live TV they raised the rate by $7. DirecTV Now just raised their rate by $10 and raised it by $5 only a few months before that. So DirecTV Now charges $15 more than they did 6 months ago, plus even worse, they got rid of a lot of the channels they were streaming. A double whammy! Any savings we see in streaming live TV is quickly fading, and most services are bundling channels very similarly to cable and satellite in order to squeeze more money from us.

It will only get much worse before consumers finally push back enough to force changes, if that ever happens. Yes, I could do the old fart thing and just watch an OTA channel all day while turning into a vegetable as I watch reruns of "Walker Texas Ranger" over and over again, but I prefer to watch anything better than that kind of programming.

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Old 03-20-2019, 02:11 PM   #12
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Kind of interesting that Netflix has announced that they will not be part of the Apple streaming service. That implies that there will be at least some 3rd party libraries that are part of the service.
From what I understand they're trying to do something similar to Amazon Channels (Roku has something similar now too) as a part of their service and Netflix is not going to be one of those channels (just like they aren't part of Amazon's offerings).
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Old 03-20-2019, 03:06 PM   #13
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Netflix is rather sleazy IMO. I signed up and tried to find movies I wanted to stream. I almost always got their message stating that my specified movie was not available for streaming, but for another membership fee I could get the DVD mailed to me. Bleep that! They just want to sucker you into two over priced subscriptions. They have a few original TV shows that are decent, but as far as movie streaming they were a major fail in my case. I quickly cancelled Netflix. I tried again about two years later hoping they had improved, but it still blew chunks. (That was last December.) I have a Blu-Ray player, but I don't keep it plugged in any more as I don't care for that ancient technology when I can just stream stuff instead, and I certainly never liked the concept of mailing DVDs back and forth.

Amazon sucks because they want to rent or sell me nearly everything I want to watch. Yes they have some very nice add-on channels, but those are pricey, especially since you are already paying for Prime Video but not getting to watch very many without additional money. I do like the Grand Tour which is free, but if I wasn't getting Prime for the shipping I would not pay for Prime Video.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:22 PM   #14
pwalker8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtinG View Post
Netflix is rather sleazy IMO. I signed up and tried to find movies I wanted to stream. I almost always got their message stating that my specified movie was not available for streaming, but for another membership fee I could get the DVD mailed to me. Bleep that! They just want to sucker you into two over priced subscriptions. They have a few original TV shows that are decent, but as far as movie streaming they were a major fail in my case. I quickly cancelled Netflix. I tried again about two years later hoping they had improved, but it still blew chunks. (That was last December.) I have a Blu-Ray player, but I don't keep it plugged in any more as I don't care for that ancient technology when I can just stream stuff instead, and I certainly never liked the concept of mailing DVDs back and forth.

Amazon sucks because they want to rent or sell me nearly everything I want to watch. Yes they have some very nice add-on channels, but those are pricey, especially since you are already paying for Prime Video but not getting to watch very many without additional money. I do like the Grand Tour which is free, but if I wasn't getting Prime for the shipping I would not pay for Prime Video.
Prime Video has really expanded their Prime free offerings over the last several months. I was a bit surprised when I checked last month. Not perfect by any stretch, but much better. Now, I will watch when their LOTR series comes out in a year or so.
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Old 03-20-2019, 07:52 PM   #15
John F
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I'm pretty content with the video choices offered. I dumped DirecTV a while back due to continued price increases and poor customer service and haven't looked back. If I'm not satisfied with pricing in the future, I'll just use an antenna and get Netflix or Hulu and read even more. If Netflix/Hulu get outrageous, I'll just use my library (for video) more. There's so much content out there and most of it becomes "free" eventually, so I'm not too worried about price increases or exclusivity.
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