Sunday, March 31, 2019

Netflix, Amazon Prime, now it is Apple TV+

Apple TV Plus

The picture of Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg along with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Cupertino can bring alarming situation for Netflix, Amazon Prime was never imagined.  Apple with these moves in recent time is hammering other competitors. Apple TV+ is essentially Apple’s entry in a world dominated by Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Apple claims it features the “world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies, and documentaries”.

Apple TV+ Launch

Coming in this summer it will comprise stalwarts shows created by the GIANTS of Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu, and other big Hollywood names.

Apple TV+ will be part of the Apple TV app, which is also getting a revamp and Apple is bringing it to combat with other smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, along with apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV. 
The second half of the presentation didn't seem designed to appeal to ordinary users at all and had the feel of an industry event with style of adventures, fantastic fictions and ultimate true events in the world arena. But, beyond that, Apple's pitch to entice customers to spend cash on its streaming TV service was blunt and vague. 

If the selling point was that Apple has the money to buy all of these stars, then it's hardly a unique one. Not only has the "Peak TV" era meant that many TV shows now feature Hollywood talent, but it's hardly a reason to spend. HBO has a long history of showcasing top talent in its series, both in front of and behind the camera.

Streaming Turmoil:

Tidal once being a streaming service that was sold as a weighty catalog of high-profile artists exclusives. But the prediction of this can be worked out? Apple is never the first company to do anything, but it makes a virtue of its lateness by improving on what's already available. It didn't make the first smartwatch, tablet, smartphone or music player, but it certainly made some of the best. It's hard to say, however, that Apple has done anything -- so far -- to improve upon we see from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and even YouTube. 

Some will be expecting Apple to show off a number of breath-taking TV pitches that somehow only Apple, with its experience and cash, could pull off. What one gets, however, is a series of throwbacks: Amazing Stories, Oprah and a show from the stars of Friends and The Office. Even the kid's offering harkened back to the glory days of PBS in the form of a Sesame Street spinoff. 

It's worth noting that HBO has a longstanding exclusivity deal with the Sesame Workshop, too. It's hard to see, then, what Apple is doing that isn't already being done elsewhere with a lot less fanfare.

Netflix and Amazon have worked to embrace creators who aren't inside the traditional system and have enabled underrepresented voices. 

The big studios, now dominated by Disney, produce family-friendly fare that Tim Cook was reportedly pushing Apple to make. Apple gave no indication of how much TV+ would cost, but the price will be a key factor in getting people to sign up. Given the breadth of streaming services available, Apple cannot simply say that it has a premium service and wait for its audience. 

Apple TV+ Pricing

If cheaper than Hulu ($12) or Netflix ($13), then it's an easier sell compared to, say, the monthly cost for HBO ($15). The company has been in this position before, with its products facing jeers during their launches. Hardware offerings like the Watch and the iPad weren't received warmly but quietly came to swallow their categories. 

Apple's services business, on the other hand, including iCloud and Maps, have had a rockier life. Even now, in my opinion, Apple Music is inferior to Spotify, and iCloud is still riddled with problems. There are lots to be said for the power of defaults, too, since Apple TV+ will be available on every iOS device in use. 
That's going to guarantee the platform a sizeable audience across the globe, but will it be as all-conquering as Netflix? That's harder to say, especially since Netflix, Amazon, and others are all working on growing their content libraries. Apple's pitch seemed to be for family-friendly TV, whereas Netflix, Amazon, and others are creating series for evermore fragmented audiences. 

And it'll be hard to justify paying for TV+ if all it has is the fare you already get, free, on ABC, NBC, and CBS. Not to mention the looming threat of Disney+, which will host plenty of popular family-friendly content of its own.

Through the new Apple TV app, users can subscribe to Apple TV channels — including HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz — and sports, news and network TV from cable and satellite providers. Additionally, you can buy or rent movies and shows from iTunes. “The app will offer suggestions for shows and movies from over 150 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as pay-TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue. Optimum and Suddenlink from Altice will be added later this year.

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