Here's Why Apple TV+ Is One of the Best Streaming Services - IGN

Here’s Why Apple TV+ Is One of the Best Streaming Services – IGN

When we first reviewed Apple TV+ upon its debut in 2019, we gave it a lower score due to its lack of content. At the time, our reviewer was wholly right to do so. We knew nothing about what kind of value Apple would bring into the streaming space, and we couldn’t think of many reasons to recommend the service when other streamers were offering way more content at the same $4.99 price point.

Fast forward to 2022. Discovery+ is still offering an insane amount of shows at the same price as Apple TV+, but the properties that make up much of that catalogue are Peak Content™ (think reality shows, low production value series, etc.). We love an easy binge as much as the next person, but little has been done to evolve the value of the platform in the three years since its inception. Change is on the horizon with the impending merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, but it comes amidst considerable turmoil for Warner Bros. Discovery.

Meanwhile, Apple TV+ has seen significant title growth since its debut in 2019. The streamer still has far less in terms of series volume compared to its competitors, but where it wins out is the quality. Objectively speaking, it’s difficult to find anything poorly made on Apple TV+, whether the film or series aligns with your personal taste or not. Apple has also made a point to ensure that its story production spans across a healthy number of genres, and has specifically managed to solidify itself as a premier destination for original sci-fi programming.

Apple TV+ Best In Show

The quality over quantity method hasn’t resulted in skyrocketing subscriber numbers — but we’ll talk about why that’s not as big of a deal as some may think a little later. In the meantime, Apple’s existing catalogue deserves heaps of praise.

In the beginning, Apple TV+ had intended to keep its series limited to original content produced in house to avoid licensing fees. The pandemic, however, threw a bit of a wrench in that plan. In response to shutting down all of their productions, Apple licensed select properties that fall in the “must-see” category for a huge chunk of folks in the domestic market. These titles included the beloved Fraggle Rock franchise, as well as the suite of Charlie Brown holiday specials that have been a staple in American homes for decades.

It’s a smart move to diversify your content with a mix of originals and licenses (and who among us doesn’t love Fraggle Rock), but it’s that original content that really shines. Ted Lasso reminded the world what warm, kind comedy could feel like at a time that we needed it most while Severance kept all of us on the edge of our seats with its slow-burn mystery. The likes of The Afterparty and Mythic Quest keep us laughing while For All Mankind, Foundation, and See keep sci-fi fans awash in impeccable options.

And then there’s the CODA of it all. Apple spent a pretty penny on CODA directly out of Sundance Film Festival — a hearty $25 million dollars in fact — but it paid off for them in the end. Subscriber count doesn’t have any bearing on awards season, and the festival darling resulted in Apple TV+ becoming the first streamer to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Apple’s marketing strategy for its streaming service has been basically nil, but the idea here is why spend money on marketing when the awards conversations will market for you?

Apple TV+ Is A Different Kind of Streamer

Conversations about Apple’s subscriber count are frequent, but often miss the streamer’s intent. Competitors like Netflix and Disney+ live and breathe by their subscriber count (a business model that has been wildly successful for both platforms despite recent setbacks and Netflix). But Apple TV+ is playing a different game. Rather than focus on driving subscriptions, Apple treats its service as a value add for its customers. Folks who aren’t in the market for a new Apple device can only get a meager 7-day trial of the streamer. Meanwhile, trials for those who purchase anything from the tech giant qualify for months free.

Their business model is focused on introducing new customers to the ever-growing Apple ecosystem, and continuing to give those already in it more reasons to stay.

Ted Lasso reminded the world what warm, kind comedy could feel like at a time that we needed it most


Apple TV+’s aforementioned lack of marketing starts to make a whole lot more sense when you take their overall strategy into account. Apple broke purchasing records when it acquired CODA, leaving all of us to wonder why that was when the film’s release came around with no push to general audiences. But when your overall intent is to add value rather than subscription count, it doesn’t matter that everyone’s not flocking to your film or series on week one.

It’s easy to look at that business model and call it crazy. Right up until you realize that it’s working. After their Best Picture win, Variety reported that Apple TV+ saw a 25% increase in new subscribers. Apple TV+ may not report its subscriber count, but a 25% jump is a strong increase regardless of the starting number.

Why Does It Matter?

At the end of the day, the “why” of it all is a lot less interesting than the outcome. Who cares about the decisions behind Apple’s business model? What really matters here is what that model results in.

Many of the decisions that have led to poor content quality in the streaming space can be tied to all the major players being beholden to first-week numbers, subscriber count, and content algorithms. By not tying itself to those factors, Apple TV+ is able to confidently invest in shows like Severance that start with very little attention and culminate in major watercooler moments for fans. It’s able to pour money into its expensive sci-fi offerings while the fandom for them grows while also presenting an impressively diverse genre spread so there’s a little something for everyone.

Apple announced a partnership with Legendary to bring a Godzilla and Titans original series to the platform.


Perhaps the most interesting thing out of all of this is the fact that despite already breaking the streamer mold, Apple TV+ is evolving. Its licensing decisions during the quarantine were a reaction to the problem that they had been presented with, but now there’s an interesting new partnership on the horizon. In January of 2022, Apple announced a partnership with Legendary to bring a Godzilla and Titans original series to the platform. (Which, point of interest, is co-created by Matt Fraction of Hawkeye fame.) The series will tie into Legendary’s existing Monsterverse which kicked off with Kong: Skull Island in 2017, and turns the page on a new chapter for Apple TV+.

Not only is the streamer leaning into a licensed partnership in a major way, it’s also taking a big step toward its first “event watch” series. Severance came close towards the end of its first season, but a major IP like the Monsterverse means that Apple is ready to step into the streaming major leagues with the likes of House of the Dragon, Rings of Power, and Stranger Things.

Apple TV+ looks like every other streaming service when you log on to find something to stream. However, at its core are fundamental differences that set it above and beyond its competition. The irony of it being Apple — a major tech company — that chose to break away from streaming algorithms and subscription counts isn’t lost on us, but we’re sure glad they did!

#Heres #Apple #Streaming #Services #IGN

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