Will a New Apple Streaming Service Cannibalize Linear Video? If So, How Much?

It’s still too early to know what impact HBO Now, any future Apple TV effort, Sling TV and other efforts will have on linear video subscriber numbers, except to note that, at the very least, the new services will limit growth for linear services by diverting new subscribers to the over the top services.

Baird Equity Research estimates that if Apple can achieve 10 percent adoption of U.S. broadband households, Apple "could generate $4 billion of annual service revenue,”

If the U.S. linear video subscription business represents about $90 billion in annual revenues, then Apple, at such levels, might then be a business that is about four percent the size of the U.S. linear video market.

Separately, Business Insider Intelligence estimated that a new Apple streaming service will gain more than four million U.S. subscribers in its first quarter on the market, 7.4 million at the end of 2016, and 10.7 million by the end of 2018.

That would translate to revenue of more than $4 billion a year by the end of 2018.

The important observation is that if an Apple streaming service actually reached those levels, it would be a stunning achievement, as the number of U.S. homes having broadband, but not buying linear video, might be about 10 million homes.

Unless one assumes that nearly 100 percent of homes with high speed access, but no linear video, a significant percentage of new Apple streaming customers would have to come from the ranks of existing linear video customers.
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