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Apple (AAPL) Unveils Latest Apple TV+ Thriller Series Servant

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Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) is strengthening content offerings for its new streaming service, Apple TV+, with the launch of a host of shows.

The company recently premiered Servant, its latest original series which is a new thriller from acclaimed director M. Night Shyamalan at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, NY.

This followed the premier of Truth Be Told, a limited series from Aaron Paul and Octavia Spencer about America's obsession with true crime which will launch on Dec 6.

A Sneak Peek into Servant

Over the past three weeks, Apple has rolled out four teaser trailers for Servant, starring Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint and Nell Tiger Free.

Notably, the thriller storyline involves a Philadelphia couple who hire a nanny to look after Jericho, a lifelike baby toy that appears to play a central role following a tragedy, unknowingly setting a series of strange events into motion.

The upcoming Servant is programmed for a weekly release schedule, following a debut on Nov 28 with the first three episodes available to watch exclusively on Apple TV+ in more than 100 countries. The remaining seven episodes of the limited series will air every Friday.

Apple Inc. Price and Consensus

Apple TV+ Exclusive Content Slate

Apple's ability to tie-up with top-tier talent to create exclusive content is impressive. Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Chris Evans, and Octavia Spencer, among others, are all working with Apple.

Little America (inspired by true stories from Epic Magazine), The Banker (a movie based on a true story about two black entrepreneurs in the 1950s starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson), and Hala (a movie about a Muslim teenager struggling with her identity) will be available soon.

Focus on Subscriber Growth

At the end of fourth-quarter fiscal 2019, Apple had 450 million paid subscribers across its services portfolio, up 30 million sequentially. Third-party subscription revenues surged almost 40% year over year.

Per a CNBC report, analysts from Barclays estimate 222 million hardware devices to be sold by Apple over 12 months, starting this November. Analysts assume that more than 50% of those buying a device in the first year will accept the streaming service, yielding more than 100 million Apple TV subscribers.

According to another CNBC report, Apple TV+ is expected to become a $9-billion revenue business with 136 million paid subscribers by 2025, assuming that one in every 10 Apple user pays for the service, as estimated by Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

However, Apple TV+ is one of the latest additions in the increasingly-crowded streaming space, currently dominated by Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) prime video. Other notable incumbents include Disney’s (DIS - Free Report) Disney+, HBO max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

Per a Digital TV Research report, Apple TV+, along with Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and HBO Max, will have 529 million subscribers by 2025. These services are expected to add 257 million subscribers between 2019 and 2025.

Conclusion

Apple’s competitive pricing of $4.99 per month and focus on expanding its original content portfolio, as indicated by the recent pick-up in hiring, is a major growth driver. We believe its expanding content portfolio is likely to aid subscriber growth in the near term.

Apple currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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