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OZ Set To Be Battle Ground In Disney+ Apple Content Fight

Australia has become a key battle ground for both Apple and Disney as they both get set to lure consumers with new entertainment services but for Apple there are real risks as iPhone sales fall and their new iPhone generates lacklustre reviews.

Over the weekend Disney boss Robert Iger quit the Apple board.

While Disney has an arsenal of content to take on the likes of Apple the iPhone maker has only managed to a smattering of content which is why their service is cheap.

Joe Ashton writing in the Australian Financial Review wrote ‘Even Cook’s belated foray into content, Apple TV+, is half-hearted and poorly conceived.

From November 1, Apple will stream just nine original titles. Netflix, with more than 900 programs in its library, is releasing another 41 this month. Amazon Prime Video is investing $US7 billion ($10.2 billion) in original content this year. The service won its first Golden Globe, for Transparent, nearly five years ago. Disney’s Bob Iger just spent $US69.5 billion on 21st Century Fox’s back catalogue. Before that, he bet $US7.4 billion on Pixar, $US3.8 billion on the Marvel Universe and $US4.1 billion on Star Wars. Apple is right now sitting on gross cash of $US210 billion.

Apple’s big event last week has failed to impress even the Apple faithful with the Company now facing an uncertain future in both the smartphone and content markets.

Sadly, by its own hand, Apple’s ‘Special Event’ each September has become diminishingly special.

Save for the hardcore geeks, mass hysteria has ebbed to lacklustre curiosity. This week, the iPhone 11 entered the world – in the words of T S Eliot – not with a bang, but with a whimper.

In Australia Apple is going to have to battle both Stan Fetch TV, Foxtel and Netflix all organisations that have an entrenched subscriber bases and extensive content.

The battle between Apple and in particular Disney an organisation that Steve Jobs had close ties is set to be brutal. The decision by Walt Disney. CEO Robert Iger to step down from Apple’s board of directors as the two companies prepare to launch competing video streaming services aimed at market leader Netflix and the likes of Foxtel in Australia is just the start.

Apple disclosed Iger’s departure in a regulatory filing Friday, but his resignation became effective Tuesday. That’s the same day that Apple announced its long-awaited video streaming service will debut Nov. 1 and cost only $7.99 per month, less than half the price of Netflix’s most popular plan.

Disney is gearing up to launch a video streaming service for $9.95 per month later in November.

The duelling services raised potential conflicts of interest that apparently prompted Iger to step down after spending nearly eight years on Apple’s board.

Apple praised Iger as an “exemplary” board member and one of its “most trusted business partners” in a statement.

Iger, 68, became intertwined with Apple in 2006 when he negotiated a $7.4 billion deal to buy computer animation studio Pixar, a company run by Steve Jobs. That made the Apple co-founder Disney’s largest shareholder, and Jobs took a seat on Disney’s board, which he held until his death in 2011.

Now both companies are taking aim at the rapidly growing video streaming market — a field that Netflix pioneered along the way to amassing more than 150 million subscribers worldwide. But the intensifying competition could slow Netflix’s growth, a threat that came into sharper focus earlier this summer when the company disclosed its first quarterly decline in US subscribers since 2011.

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