Apple has a lot of ground to make up if it wants to compete with Amazon and Roku in the world of over-the-top streaming video.

The key hits:

  • Apple plans to release its original TV shows for free on the “TV” app that comes pre-installed on iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs.
  • The original video programming — which Apple is spending $1 billion on — is essentially a marketing expense for other services and products.
  • This will soon include an Amazon Prime Video Channels-like program that will let media companies distribute subscription streaming channels inside the TV app.
  • Apple sits behind Roku, Amazon and Chromecast in terms of U.S. connected TV users, and it won’t be easy or quick to close the gap — especially when Apple devices are pricier than its competition.
  • Still, Apple’s strength in tablet sales — and the continued growth in OTT users — will help the company grow users.

I guess when you have a trillion dollars, you can afford to spend a billion on TV shows that you give away for free. That’s exactly what Apple is planning to do, according to CNBC, which reports that Apple will release all of the TV shows it’s producing for free on the pre-installed “TV” app available on iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs.

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