Will Apple devices be required to watch all of Apple’s new original TV shows?

“Every few weeks or so, another report emerges about Apple’s plans to make original TV shows. The narrative goes that Apple is spending surprising amounts money to attract Hollywood talent, allowing it to compete with the likes of Netflix and HBO in the production of prestige television programming,” Jared Newman writes for TechHive. “Apple is even building a 128,000-square-foot TV headquarters in Culver City, California.”

Here’s “a crucial question,” Newman writes. “Are we going to need Apple devices to watch all these new shows?”

“If Apple treats original programming the same way as its other online services, then the answer will likely be ‘yes,'” Newman writes. “That doesn’t mean hardware-exclusive TV is a good idea. Instead, it would be harmful to consumers, toxic to the TV industry, and maybe even detrimental for Apple.”

“There’s a problem with extending this approach to original TV shows: Apple’s own streaming TV box just isn’t popular,” Newman writes. “According to Comscore, only five percent of U.S. Wi-Fi connected homes owned an Apple TV as of one year ago. That’s well behind Roku (18 percent), Amazon Fire TV (12 percent), and Chromecast (8 percent). Although the Apple TV is a fine streaming box, its $149-and-up pricing (the 64GB 4K model is priced at $179, and the 128GB 4K model costs $199) has clearly kept people away.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Who says the Apple TV will be the only way to get the content? Or that Apple will continue with the “expensive box” concept of Apple TV and not move to more affordable Apple TV sticks and/or dongles?

There are too many variables to be able to just pronounce that making Apple content exclusive to Apple devices is a bad idea. As Nintendo can tell you, making exclusive content for your hardware can work very, very well.


  1. I watch 75% of my Apple-purchased content on my iMac Pro or MBP (the other 25% on my iPad). Though I have an Apple TV, I probably watch stuff on an actual TV set 4-5 times a year (e.g., Super Bowl). I suspect anywhere you can consume iTunes content, you’ll be able to consume Apple’s original TV shows.

  2. Misread the context of the headline. I assumed that late at night, Tim Cook would be forcing all Apple TVs to watch Planet of the Apps, kind of a “Clockwork Orange” for the IoT.

  3. I hope they do tie their content to their devices. It might be the move that finally results in a long overdue executive shake up.

    If Apple thinks they are going to be able to create content compelling enough to force the population to switch viewing devices, they’re out of their minds.

    1. It’s plainly clear that Apples management doesn’t even have to show up to collect insane paychecks. They haven’t done anything but replicate Jobs’ iPhone app store in different size gadgets.

      Welcome to the next Sony.

  4. The Nintendo analogy is flawed. There are obvious and non-obvious technical reasons why you can’t play a Nintendo cartridge on a Playstation. This honestly stems from the nature of video games – it is not some arbitrary limitation. Consumers will resent the restrictions. I never saw the new Star Trek series because I didn’t want to join a new service. It will be less likely that new titles will persuade anyone to switch.

    Now having it free on Apple devices and paid elsewhere might work.

  5. If Apple does go this way, it’s as a direct result of market forces.

    Apple wanted to create an iTunes-like TV marketplace. If they become a hardware-linked vertically-integrated producer and distributor, they industry has itself to blame.

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