Cook reaffirms Apple's plans for original TV content

Apple TV

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Apple CEO Tim Cook reaffirmed Apple's commitment to original TV content during its quarterly conference call, though many details remain unknown.

In response to a question regarding Apple's plans for streaming video, asked by Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross, Cook outlined four areas in which the company is currently focusing in preparation of an expected segment boom in 2019.

The first is the Apple TV, which acts as Apple's hardware anchor in the streaming game. The device has seen regular software updates with new features, and rumors suggest the company is mulling the introduction of a low-priced dongle to goose platform adoption.

Secondly, AirPlay 2 will factor into Apple's streaming ambitions. The protocol launched in 2017, but has only recently received serious attention from major electronics brands. Most recently, AirPlay 2 is being added to third-party television sets from Sony, Samsung, LG and Vizio, allowing users to cast content from their iPhone, iPad or Mac directly to the TV.

Apple's third opportunity for growth is through subscriptions from apps on the App Store. Cook believes more people will be subscribing to multiple streaming services as they cut back on traditional cable plans.

Finally, Cook reiterated Apple's plans for original content that are rumored to debut as part of a first-party subscription service later this year.

"We will participate in the original content world. We've signed a multi-year partnership with Oprah," Cook said. "Today I'm not really ready to extend that conversation beyond that point. We've hired some people we have a super amount of confidence in. They're working on that really hard. We'll have more to say on that later."

Apple has been rumored to be launching its own streaming service for some time, but distribution and cost components are still up in the air. Apple could choose to bundle the product with Apple Music or offer it as a free perk for Apple-device owners.

The latest rumors suggest a possible March event with new iPad Minis and iPod Touches in the cards as well as a launch of the new video streaming service to follow as early as mid-April.