CBS Corp. (CBS) chief executive Leslie Moonves has been quoted by Business Insider as saying at its recent conference that he thinks Apple (AAPL) has hit the “hold button” on its much anticipated Apple TV live streaming service, despite the negotiations over a monthly subscription price ranging between $30 and $40 for 14 or more channels, including offerings from networks like Showtime.
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Wall Street shops including Goldman Sachs (GS) had forecasted a launch in 2016, but now consumers may not see Apple TV live streaming service next year.
It was back on December 7 when Moonves had divulged at an investor conference that Apple was exploring a live TV service, but he had cautioned that he did not know when it was coming. How long Apple will keep the hold button pressed is unclear, even though Wall Street analysts note, based on Moonves’ comments, that it appears Apple TV live streaming service was in advanced stages given its content negotiations.
Apple TV live streaming service has been talked about for the last two years. Last October, it rebooted its fourth-generation Apple TV unit, with a new app store and new operating system. Apple faces stiff competition from Netflix (NFLX), Amazon Prime (AMZN), Hulu, and Roku.
Already, investment houses have been resetting their business model analyses towards an “Apple-as-a-Service thesis.” The analysis now includes whether Apple can sufficiently monetize its sizable cash pile towards a new revenue generator in the form of streaming TV, given that expectations are TV executives will demand Apple pony up big time for its content.
Goldman Sachs still maintains a conviction Buy on Apple, having put a $163 price target on its stock in the next twelve months. Driving that target? “An estimated installed base of 500 million iPhone users and over 90% customer loyalty,” which is why Goldman says it sees “Apple’s hardware revenues as mimicking the characteristics of a ‘recurring’ revenue model and do not believe the [earnings] multiple currently reflects this potential.”
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The question though is this: Will Apple revolutionize TV as it did music players and the phone business, or has Netflix beaten them to it? Stay tuned.