Apple made quite a splash when it finally announced its incoming streaming service, Apple TV Plus, coming in late 2019. But for a company without a back catalog of movies and shows starting from scratch, what exactly is its plan for carving its own space in the market?
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services – Eddy Cue – spoke on Apple's online streaming ambitions and how they planned to do things differently from the current market leader, Netflix.
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Cue is diplomatic on the nature of their competing service, which inevitably is having to bear comparisons with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime – or Disney Plus, which launches only a few weeks after Apple TV Plus.
"Their motto is to create a lot of content so there’s always something for you to watch, and it’s working really well," Cue says. "There’s nothing wrong with that model, but it’s not our model.”
Apple, on the other hand, will be focusing on "creating the best" content, rather than "creating the most".
That fits with comments we've heard before on Apple's award ambitions, with the company bankrolling a number of small-budget feature films with Oscar potential. It's clear Apple is hoping to accrue some prestige, rather than simply sheer user numbers – though the limiting nature of its library at launch could still prove an issue.
Gimme, gimme more
Part of the huge success of Netflix has been its ethos to offer something for every genre, with thousands of TV shows, films, standup specials, animated series, and documentaries for whoever wants to watch – and whatever they're in the mood for.
Cue's interview suggests that the first show to hit the service will be The Morning Show – hosted by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston – which Cue asserts "on the quality bar, it is really, really good." Apple will then release new shows every month, slowly building up its library of titles, instead of having a huge number at launch for a variety of tastes.
With names like Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Jason Momoa all signed up to bring content to the service, there'll clearly be no shortage of big names, and production values will almost certainly be high.
But it begs the question: without a huge amount of choice of what to watch, will people really watch Apple TV Plus, instead of shows on Netflix they know are catered to their specific interests?
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.