With all sorts of technology companies racing to roll out original content online, Apple Inc. (AAPL) could enter the market in a big way next year, launching a streaming video service that will be home to a slew of original content.

CCS Insight, the UK market research firm, made that prediction as it looks at what the industry has in store for the coming year. In an interview with CNBC, Paolo Pescatore, vice president of multiplay and media at CCS Insight, said the streaming service from Apple would rely heavily on original content. "Everyone is jostling for position and everyone is jumping in on the area of video. When you look at Apple, it has a very strong hardware offering and their services business is on the march," Pescatore said. "The real battleground is in the area of original content, but original content would feature prominently and Apple would be very well placed to do that." (See more: Apple Signs Deal With Spielberg in Content Push.)

In August, news reports surfaced that the Cupertino, California iPhone maker plans on spending around $1 billion to acquire or create original content during the next year in an effort to become a real competitor in the streaming video wars. Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported the company may purchase or produce 10 television shows that are on par with hits like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” to make available on iTunes or a new video streaming service. The company is giving Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two Hollywood executives who joined Apple from Sony Corp. (SNE) in June, control of the content strategy, taking it off the hands of the company's music team. Erlicht and Van Amburg have already commenced meetings with agents in Hollywood and are in the midsts of talks about shows Apple can buy. Earlier this month it greenlighted two seasons of a drama about morning television, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. (See more: Apple: Aniston, Witherspoon to Star in New Series.)  

According to CCS Insights, launching a video streaming service could be a way for Apple to increase its revenue from services, which was up 34% in its September quarter and came in at $8.5 billion.

But it’s not just Apple that has some video content changes in store for it in 2018. The research firm also predicted that the entrance of a new player and moves by technology companies in content, could prompt Netflix (NFLX) to introduce new pricing and services to drive growth. "The prediction is that Netflix gives new pricing options for video to allow people to buy videos or rent them on an a la carte basis. Equally, we expect Netflix to move to other areas and cross-sell games and music into their basis," Pescatore said in the CNBC interview.

 

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