I’ve always been a bit uneasy about the likes of Apple joining the Hollywood rat race. We’re talking about the world’s best-performing company here, and with that perk comes billions and billions and billions of dollars to just throw at the wall. Their ability to start up a streaming service only seemed to solidify the fact that all you need is money to attract the biggest talent, and you can make in the business, and I guess there’s something overly-cynical I just never liked about that, in spite of my love for their tech products.
We’ve known about their Apple TV+ streaming service for well over a year now, and in presentations past, we’ve seen them do their typical Apple self-aggrandization of their own new shows on the horizon, with them pelting celebrities at us from a distance, seeming to solidify their desire to hang with the big studios in Hollywood.
However, in their special Apple event yesterday, their strategy became a bit clearer. Rather than go for the rumored $10 a month plan, Apple TV+ came in at a lower $5 a month — far below Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, and even Disney+. Additionally, if you buy an Apple product, you get one year of Apple TV+ for free.
Just how Amazon Prime Video uses their service to further entice customers into their ecosystem, Apple seems to be doing the same with Apple TV+, as media analyst Rich Greenfield, a partner at research firm LightShed, told THR.
“All of these companies are trying to keep you in their ecosystem for as much time as possible. If Apple can get people spending hours a week watching its content, they’re going to be more likely to buy its devices.”
So, at the end of the day, they aren’t competing to solely boost those subscription numbers. Sure, it won’t hurt, but unlike Netflix, whose entire strategy depends on subscribers, Apple hopes to it leads to more device sales and more overall loyalty.
As someone who left their iPhone ecosystem a couple of years back, for example, I’m looking at Apple TV+ as another potential reason to return. It isn’t the only reason, mind you, but one of countless factors. Just another tip in their favor. And once that initial year is up, I may look at $4.99 and see it as a drop in the bucket, depending on how the first year of programming goes.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. Apple TV+ content can help retain loyalty, that loyalty can lead to continued device sales, and similarly, that loyalty can lead to renewed subscriptions to their service down the line.
In a world where franchises are a big deal, it’s an interesting strategy. Yes, they have huge Hollywood names like Oprah, Jason Momoa, Steve Carell, Jennifer Aniston, and Reese Witherspoon on some of their new shows, but they don’t have the franchises to go with it. But one big draw to it will be that familiar Apple logo.
“This is trading on Apple’s good name,” one veteran executive told THR. “The thinking is that you already have a phone and you already like them, so you’ll pay the $4.99.”
So, what do you think? Will you?
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