Apple’s TV tactics: Can Cupertino figure out the television formula?

“Apple knows how to make an entrance,” Randall Colburn writes for The Guardian. “In June, the tech juggernaut sent a shiver down the collective spine of the prestige TV cognoscenti by recruiting Jamie Erlicht and Zack van Amburg, the duo who helped Sony shepherd the likes of The Crown and Breaking Bad to critical and commercial success. Arming them with a budget of $1bn, Apple tasked the pair with bringing back at least 10 shows, each with the potential to become their own Game of Thrones-style juggernaut. Subtle, they were not.”

“Confidence is a must, and Apple is exuding it, not just with its top-level executives, but also with its deliberate goals and modest budget,” Colburn writes. “Nowhere else, it seems, would $1bn be considered such, but it seems paltry alongside the $8bn (Netflix) and $4.5bn (Amazon), respectively, are putting towards their 2018 slates.”

“But while Netflix’s plan includes 30 new anime series and 80 new original films, in addition to original drama and comedy series, Apple’s goals remain much more focused, with a clear emphasis on quality over quantity,” Colburn writes. “What we see here is a diverse range of series, each backed by experienced industry veterans and ensconced in the landscape’s current and budding trends.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple knows how to make an entrance… when you ignore the first decade of Apple TV and insipid shit like Planet of the Apps.

Here’s to Apple finally getting a clue, getting people in there who know what the hell they’re doing, and for spending some real money!

The answer to the headline is: Yes. They already have.

Apple orders ‘See’ series, a futuristic drama from ‘Hunger Games’ director – January 10, 2018
Life after iTunes: Apple’s big media challenge – January 9, 2018
Apple developing new original drama ‘Are You Sleeping’ starring Octavia Spencer – January 3, 2018
Three more Amazon Studios executives move to Apple – December 26, 2017
Apple orders space drama series from ‘Battlestar Galactica’ producer Ronald D. Moore – December 15, 2017
Apple gives Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon series a 2-season order, confirms Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’ reboot – November 9, 2017
Apple outbids Netflix for show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon – November 8, 2017
Apple eyes iconic studio as base for Hollywood production push; vying with Netflix for high-profile Jennifer Aniston drama – September 1, 2017
The magic and misdirection of Apple’s streaming strategy – August 18, 2017
Apple wants to spend $1 billion on 10 original TV shows over the next year – August 16, 2017
Former WGN America president Matt Cherniss joins Apple in latest TV push – August 15, 2017
Rivals leaving Apple behind as Apple TV remains stuck in a test pattern – August 8, 2017
Apple’s so-called TV ‘strategy’ continues to be an embarrassing joke – June 30, 2017
Apple poaches Sony TV executives to lead major push into original content – June 16, 2017
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016


  1. I got an AppleTV 4K for Christmas to replace my version 2. (4K is version 5 or 6 I think.) May I just say it sucks ass?

    I hate the new AppleTV. The remote is terrible. Siri doesn’t understand my Shared Library. I can’t tell which show is highlighted because there is no highlight, just a 5% size increase which is entirely lost on the screen. There’s no fast-forward or rewind on the remote so I had to stumble on a webpage that told me the remote was clickable for these features. The inertial scrolling is off compared to the mac and iOS so it constantly feels unnatural. I don’t understand “Up Next” and can never quite tell what is free from TV apps and what I will have to pay for from iTunes.

    The AppleTV we were using was FAR better than this one. It had Netflix and Hulu. It worked fine with iTunes. And it was INTUITIVE. The AT4K really is garbage in my opinion. I’m currently looking for a decent replacement. I even gave away a FIREstick that was given to me several years ago as a Christmas present, but now I figure Apple doesn’t give a shit about the TV business, so I may as well start looking around.

    Now everyone put on your thinking caps and imagine that I get an Amazon device, which encourages me to spring for an Alexa (I’m currently holding out for Apple’s HomePod). What will that foot in the door mean for Apple? What will it mean for Amazon? What will it mean for me as a customer and as a person and household?

    Who is to say. All I know right now is I waited 7 years for a new AppleTV and I have never been so disappointed with Apple. And this is the trash that Tim Cook actually had the gumption to say, “Now there’s no reason to go anywhere else for TV” or some shit like that.

    I am profoundly let down by this 6th generation product. I’m also ready to pull the plug on tCook.

    (Erm, pardon my french.)

    1. Yup ….
      The Ui is terrible..
      Lack of centralization of favorits and lack notifications when a new favorit content is available terrible and mind boggling. Finding a favored program is a constant hunt from one app to the other, if u are lucky to remember what you favored and where.

      The fragmented app ui is confusing and inefficient……. every app is in its own ui universe.

      The 5% magnification as an indication of whats highlighted is down right stupid.. one can hardly tell whats highlighted.

      Yhe remote’s ergonomics could not be worse…. with the exception of the touch pad ( i like this feature )

      Apple TV , over all, is a mediocre experiance.. even my jurassic DVR sometimes feels so much better .

      Everything managed by Cue just feels so convoluted and messy.

      Hope Apple listens !

  2. I still think that Apple needs to start with a catalogue of third party, on-demand movies/TV shows á la Netflix or Amazon. You have Apple Music, why don’t we have Apple Movies? $9.99 per month for all the movies you can watch. Give Apple users a break if they subscribe to Apple Music, Movies, Match, and iCloud.

    If I have a Netflix/Amazon subscription, I will be loathe to switch to a pay-per-view Apple universe. In fact, I probably won’t even think about it.

    1. Why would Apple do something logical like “Apple Movies”? Apple Music will have all your TV shows…. This is the same crap logic as iTunes still having having all your non-music related media… This is simple Apple – use some basic logic and fix it!

  3. Mehhh….I’m not sure Apple has figured out TV quite yet. Hiring a couple of industry guys and throwing money at them by no means assures success or a hit show. *Perhaps* they’ll eventually get there but we’ll have to wait and see.

    If Apple has a strategy with TV its hard to see what it is and if progress is being made. Seems like its floundered for years aimlessly.

  4. My scissor is on my cable cord and it is ready to cut the wire. But, the only thing that is holding me back is the local stations. All what Apple can do is to make a deal with each local station group. CBS, NBC, ABC, CW, and MY. Charge $5.99 to $9.99 for the five. Sell it on the TV App Store and all you need is to select your nearest major city or area. Or sell them a-la-cart for $2.99. Pick the one you watch the most. Apple needs to get into this market before someone else does. Ex: The Smart Speaker.

  5. As long as the Apple television service is only available on Apple devices, it will never be on par with Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc.

    How can iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac’s and perhaps the watch compare with the “viewership capacity” of iOS, Apple TV, Mac’s, Windows, Smart TV’s, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire, streaming Blu-Ray players, Playstation 3/4/4 Pro, Xbox 360/One/One X, and ~thousands~ of other devices. It cannot.

    There will always be millions fewer viewers than on other services. While I hope it succeeds, unlike the App Store where a customer can buy 10 or 50 apps, in this case one customer buys one subscription. It is a matter of math.

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