Apple TV+ to debut its movies in theaters first

Apple TV+ is going to the big screen before it reaches home theaters.

Following the traditional course set for decades by many production companies, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will first distribute its feature-length film exclusives in theaters rather than going straight to its streaming service, Apple TV+.

It is a departure of the approach strategized by other streaming services, which tend to hoard exclusives as a way to boost subscribers. Apple is banking on the idea that they can attract a higher level of producers and films by first making a theatrical release. This can certainly provide another revenue stream for Apple as well.

In addition, the theatrical release can broaden the market for Apple TV+. A receptive audience that could want to see the film again makes for potential subscribers for the fledgling streaming service. The exposure in a theater to a broad audience can also create consumer base to stream the same release at a later date via Apple TV+.

According to Journal's report, Apple’s first theater release will be Bill Murray’s “On the Rocks” in 2020.

Apple TV+ will debut in November. A subscription will cost $4.99 a month as the service looks to compete with industry giants such as Netflix and Amazon. In addition, a bevy of new competitors, including Disney+, are creating a crowded marketplace in a streaming war that doesn’t appear to be slowing down.