The Apple TV+ service

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

21 May 2020

Where the Apple TV+ service goes from here

In this time of quarantine, streaming TV is booming. More people are watching Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and Hulu than ever before. But not the Apple TV+ service. What gives?

Since the streamer launched in November, only 10 million have signed up. Compare that to the nearly 70 million Netflix draws in the United States alone, and the nearly 30 million for Hulu. (Amazon Prime’s numbers – 101 million – are skewed as many signed up for free shipping rather than TV watching.)

Apple TV+ serviceGranted, the Apple TV+ service is still new, and coming services like HBO Max and Peacock may not break the 10 million barrier. However, my guess is that they will. They won’t top Disney’s 50 million number but 10 million is a low bar, a shockingly tiny number when you consider Apple offers the service free to those buying Apple devices.

Isn’t Apple the greatest brand in the world? Did it just not transfer to television?

Yes and no. For starters, the Apple TV+ service originals just aren’t very good. They’re glitzy and follow a certain aspirational element that meets with the brand meaning of Apple. Or does it?

“The Apple TV+ service stands in a weird place. With the company figuring out what exactly its brand means and how that translates. I suggest getting back to its roots even though it’s hard to position yourself as the rebel when you’re the market leader.”

The Apple TV+ service must reach back to its roots

Apple remains the most cash-rich company in the world, and there have been rumors it would buy out another streaming service. But I think it forgot what made the Apple brand appealing in the first place. “Think Different” launched the brand into the stratosphere, developing a cult following among tech enthusiasts like me.

That position suggests a certain edginess that its TV offerings lack. There’s a blandness to the Apple TV+ service offerings, like they’re honed down to a shiny surface that feels corporate generated. Even its most critically acclaimed series, Little America, suffers from it.

Now comes word Apple is talking with studios about licensing their older movies and TV shows. That’s all well and good but, if they follow the same direction as the original content, it won’t help much. Especially because many are going to direct to consumers already. (HBO Max, for instance, is backed by Warner Brothers.)

The Apple TV+ service stands in a weird place. With the company figuring out what exactly its brand means and how that translates. I suggest getting back to its roots even though it’s hard to position yourself as the rebel when you’re the market leader.

But it must think different to succeed in the streaming wars.

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