Apple is on a hiring spree for its upcoming streaming service (retail, too)

4 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends

Last night, Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) reported $84.3 billion in revenue for the December quarter, beating revisions made earlier this month. The figures appear to have satisfied analysts.

That's because virtually all analysts see good things in Apple's future as a service provider via its new streaming service. Noted UBS: Apple is in the "early phases of transitioning from distributor to content aggregator/provider."

Apple job listings data tracked over time reveals hiring efforts to build out the company's "Interactive Media Group" (IMG), which, based on job descriptions, is busy building out the base for the company's upcoming streaming service.

Apple is also busy hiring for its retail operations where it hopes to beat concerns that iPhone and hardware sales will continue to wane (more on that below).

Hiring for streaming service

Hiring for the group hit an apex in mid-January with 42 openings. According to descriptions in Apple job listings, the IMG is rseponsible for building media playback, video-on-demand and live streaming technologies:

"Our team is responsible for implementing software services around linear audiovisual media. This includes local media playback, video-on-demand and live streaming of multimedia content. Our media engine is active across Apple products such as Safari, iTunes, Photos, Music, TV on iOS and macOS as well as 3rd party applications."

Digging deeper in the listings for those with "Streaming" in their titles reveals a small but clear hunt for talented engineers who will help build the company's media technology.

Today, there are eight listings with "streaming" in their titles, 7 of which are for engineers:

As Of Date

Title

URL

Location Text

20190129

Media Streaming Engineer

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/200023077/media-streaming-engineer?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Media Streaming Engineer

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/114211375/media-streaming-engineer?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Manager (AVCN) AV/VC and Internal Streaming

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/200009074/manager-avcn-av-vc-and-internal-streaming?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Streaming Interactive Media Engineer

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/200001940/streaming-interactive-media-engineer?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Sr. Software Engineer-Streaming Media

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/114384545/sr-software-engineer-streaming-media?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Streaming Media Engineer

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/114372581/streaming-media-engineer?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Video Streaming Software Quality Engineer

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/114322829/video-streaming-software-quality-engineer?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

20190129

Media Streaming Engineer

https://jobs.apple.com/en-us/details/114219525/media-streaming-engineer?team=SFTWR

Santa Clara Valley (Cupertino)

The jobs contain a clear reference to Apple's upcoming streaming service:

"Apple's Interactive Media Group (IMG) is looking for a dedicated and hardworking engineer to join our streaming media playback team. This technology powers the streaming media experiences on all of Apple’s platforms (iPhones/iPads, Apple TV, and macOS) by building on core technologies and frameworks such as Core Media, AVFoundation."

Despite the fact that the streaming service is already dominated by players like Netflix and Amazon (and will become even more crowded in 2019 with entries from Disney and Warner Media) Apple's hardware ecosystem is strong with a broad install base of hardware including iPhones, iPads, desktop and laptop computers, Apple TV, and its HomePod smart speaker.

If Apple can nudge even a fraction of its 360 million subscribers to its video streaming service, it will come out of the gate positioned very, very well.

Apple CFO Luca Maestri noted on last night's call that the company already has over 360 million paid subscribers — that's three times higher than last year and more than Netflix's ($NASDAQ:NFLX139 million reported subscribers. If Apple can nudge even a fraction of its 360 million subscribers to its video streaming service, it will come out of the gate positioned very, very well.

Retail expansion

Investor and analyst concerns for Apple's future earnings may have been assuaged by optimism in Apple's transition to services for revenue, but Apple clearly is not leaving classic retail sales behind. Hiring data indicates that the company will continue to expand its retail operations. Hiring for Apple Retail spiked in November, moving from 303 to 498 openings.

Many of the Apple "retail" job titles are for Technical Specialists and Managers, followed by Specialists and Senior Managers.

Title

Title (Count)

Technical Specialist

33

Manager

29

Specialist

18

Senior Manager

18

Genius

12

Technical Expert

5

Business Expert

5

Ops Specialist

4

Creative

4

Business Pro

3

Retail hiring activity is heaviest in Japan followed by a spread of openings at Apple retail locations throughout the world. It is interesting to note a hiring emphasis in Asia. Along with Japan, openings were found in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macao, China (where Apple saw a 27% drop in sales), and Taiwan.

Location Text

Title (Count)

Tokyo - JP

13

Kanagawa

12

Thailand

10

France

10

Netherlands

10

Austria

10

Hong Kong

10

Italy

10

Singapore

10

Mexico

10

Macao

10

United Kingdom

10

Australia

10

Canada

10

Switzerland

10

Japan

10

China

10

Belgium

10

Taiwan

10

Turkey

10

Join the businesses who have begun to edge out competitors by scouring the web for “alternative” data.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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