While Apple TV’s new app brings users access to iTunes, a slick new interface, easy sign-up to premium OTT channels, and improved recommendations, its primary benefit is extending the Apple ecosystem beyond the Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. Despite this, Apple starts with a huge built-in disadvantage — with only 175 million addressable TVs compared to more than 900 million for Netflix, says StrategyAnalytics from Boston, which said that in addition to a sparse catalogue, Apple failed to announce how much Apple TV+ will cost.
Hardly reasons enough to write off two important things: one of the most popular forms of video entertainment, and that powerful pipeline of content consumption – streaming. The catalogue may be sparse, but the names are marquee — a couple among world’s best you can count on the fingers of one hand. With such big names and a roster and catalogue that is bound to grow, a streaming service for the world’s most discerning lifestyle gadget patrons who will also be reached through all the other flanking devices like iphones, ipads, imacs et al, the Apple Plus service is bound to push sales and draw greater pull for itself when, as we said, the roster of creative stalwarts and their catalogues grow.
Another point Strategy Analytics tries to make is: Apple also unveiled its SVOD service, Apple TV+ but like its Apple TV counterpart it too was far more hype than substance. With A-list talent like Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Oprah, Jennifer Aniston, and Jason Momoa, Apple’s unveiling was not without star power, but to compete against the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney’s soon to launch SVOD service, Apple is going to need a deep, rich catalogue of titles, which they just did not show.
This is not a catchup TV platform which already comes with multiple thousand hours of library content. This is purely about original Video content. Bring out your books and check the percentage of original:library content across all OTT platforms / video streaming services. None of them would have started with name of the kind Apple TV Plus has. ZEE 5 too has realised the power and criticality of having original shows, and had announced a whole bunch of them. And Apple too, keeping its discerning viewers in mind, has gone ahead and focused on original-only content.
Don’t write off the Apple TV Plus unveiling – actually, yes, not even a complete unveiling. But the price will come, and the catalogue will only grow. Their whole offering is reportedly based on content for the entire family, so this will be a great and safe play to make even for large populations across major consumers of TV content in countries like India. And never mind what they say about the cord cutters — Television, in India, for sure, will continue to hold strong sway for a few more years. And like the online avatars of print publications, TV and OTT platforms will only complement each other.