Tech companies are increasingly concerned that streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime will overwhelm their traditional TV, phone, and video businesses with too much content.
That has prompted executives to seek alternatives, such as mobile.
Some of those efforts have yielded mixed results.
Last month, Amazon Prime announced that it would begin streaming videos via its Alexa-enabled devices in select U.S. cities, but it still isn’t clear whether this will be enough to offset the cost of its streaming services.
Netflix, meanwhile, has been quietly exploring new streaming offerings that could replace its traditional TV and phone service, but has so far failed to find a compelling strategy to compete.
On Wednesday, Netflix and Apple Inc. announced a joint venture to develop a new streaming device that will compete directly with Amazon Prime and Netflix.
The deal comes as Netflix and Amazon have battled over the future of their TV business.
Netflix and the video service’s parent company, Disney, have been feuding since 2015.
In March, Netflix pulled the plug on a deal with Disney to stream original series in the U.K., where it already has a large library of original series.
That sparked speculation that Disney could also attempt to make its own streaming services, or that it may make the move to acquire streaming service Tidal, which has an estimated 30 million subscribers.
Netflix has resisted a move to invest in its own original content.
“We have been a very cautious investor,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told investors on a call.
“I have never said that we would sell off our entire content library to a streaming service, and I have never wanted to.
But there are ways to do that and I think that’s something that we should consider.”
The partnership is one of many deals that Netflix is pursuing to compete with online streaming services that it hopes will replace traditional TV services.
For example, the streaming service said last month that it is partnering with YouTube and Facebook to stream videos through its video app.
“There are some things that we’re looking at and there are some ways that we think there might be a way that we could go to scale, and it could be in the next year or so,” Hastings told analysts in an earnings call.
But Netflix and other streaming services have struggled to find customers for the high-end services they offer.
Netflix lost more than $6 billion in 2016, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The company is also battling a wave of copycat video apps like YouTube Red that have been released by video players like Apple and Microsoft.
Netflix said it was forced to take a hit when it launched its own video app in 2017, and the company is trying to get a new app out by next year.