Apple TV Plus wants potential subscribers to be enthusiastic about streaming. It is launched with four big-budget shows with household names. But early reviews tell a different story, one where the presence of Apple in an oversaturated streaming space seems unnecessary. Negative reviews right outside the gate do not improve Apple's chances, but that does not mean that the future of the streaming platform is doomed.
With $ 4.99 a month, Apple TV Plus is one of the cheapest streaming services that makes room for & # 39; streaming wars & # 39; enter. It is not a Netflix killer or even a Netflix competitor. This is not the streaming service for which you cancel Hulu. Apple knows this. That is why the company gives everyone who has an Apple product, new or renovated, a free TV Plus year. Five friends and family members can also watch for free via Apple & # 39; s Family Sharing subscription. To attract people's attention and ensure that they come back month after month, Apple offers its shows on a silver platter.
The streaming service is launched with shows designed to make a splash. The morning show, a # MeToo story, featuring a number of Hollywood & # 39; s most sought after actors, including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. Each episode cost more than $ 15 million to make, and Aniston and Witherspoon earn $ 1 million per episode. Game of Thrones alum and Aquarius himself, Jason Momoa, is the headliner See, another show that cost around $ 15 million per episode. That's more than most networks pay for their long-term shows, including AMC & # 39; s The walking dead, the most popular show on television.
The following year will bring even more original programming, including that of M. Night Shyamalan Servant and the Octavia Spencer-led series Truth is told. Apple does not reduce costs; in fact, it does the opposite and increases its spending from $ 1 billion to $ 6 billion. The company also recruits A-list stars such as Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds for a Christmas film that allegedly costs more than $ 60 million in talent costs alone, collaborate with prestigious studios such as A24 and working with Oscar-winning directors such as Alfonso Cuarón to build a library of prestigious, possibly award-winning films.
Apple immediately launches its first four shows and reinforces the frustration of critics. A disappointing show may be acceptable, but four are painted as disastrous. Today, Netflix hosts thousands of movies and TV shows, but the first four original shows – Orange is the new black, House of cards, Arrested development (season 4), and Hemlock Grove – entered service in the course of a year that began in 2013. It took Hulu years to get a foothold with shows like The maid's story. Even now it still doesn't have the same offer as Netflix. Amazon has released its first four original series – Transparent, Mozart in the jungle, Beta & # 39; s, and Alpha House – in the course of two years. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon were given the space to find their voices and to flourish. It is ridiculous to think that Apple could do it in its first attempt.
There are a number of indisputable winners; Transparent and House of cards won multiple Emmy & # 39; s and helped establish their respective services as true entertainment players. Does anyone really love it memories of watching Lilyhammer? Arrested developmentThe fourth season is so horrified Netflix hid it before a remixed version of the season was released. And who remembers betas, Alpha House, Flaked, Bosch, Goliath, Chance, or East Los High? The difference is that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon had the ability and scope to keep each new series apart and to test the waters.
Apple does not have that option. The company does not provide licensing programs from other distributors such as WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal or Sony to create a library. In order to compete with giants such as the aforementioned three streaming services and new players from Disney (Disney +), AT&T (HBO Max from WarnerMedia) and Comcast (Peacock from NBCUniversal), Apple needed more than one or two shows. Nine TV shows & movies are not the same as having a few original titles for people to watch, nestled among thousands of licensed and beloved series and movies. But all together? Apple only hired the head of TV Plus two years ago. The amount of launches is an impressive achievement. Quantity is important for streaming, but quality ensures that people keep coming back. That's where Apple needs to take to thrive, according to analyst Eric Haggstrom from eMarketer.
"Viewers are not critics," Haggstrom said The edge. "People will watch these shows regardless of what critics say. Whether they will continue to look after a month depends on the quality. When Netflix started offering original content, it was different from the world in which we now live. There are countless different services that offer high-quality originals. "
It took Amazon and Netflix time to build a solid catalog. Netflix has increased its content budget from an estimated $ 2.4 billion in 2013 to $ 15 billion in 2019 – a growth of more than seven times the original expenditure. Amazon began to develop into original films and won two Oscars for the Casey Affleck LED Manchester by the Sea in 2017.
Apple has a few important advantages over Netflix that should help it succeed despite a less good start. First, there is the almost unlimited budget: it spends more than $ 6 billion on various shows and films, including $ 15 million per episode on The morning show. It has the right creative partners, such as Oprah Winfrey, J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón. And it has the means to offer makers everything they need.
"Apple takes this very seriously," Haggstrom said. "They invest a lot of money in the service so that it is not a side project. This is not a side issue at all."
Apple is a trillion dollar company with more than $ 210 billion in cash, no orphan who timidly asks for leftovers, but the service needs a chance. Managers take the time to find their voice, something that every writer or creativist will tell you is constantly ambitious and extremely difficult to achieve. Even Netflix is still figuring out. Apple TV Plus can end with another Planet of the apps disaster, but if a company is ambitious and relentless enough to continue until it hits gold, it's Apple.