Analyst: Apple’s approach to video ‘will likely remain uninspiring’

“KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves isn’t particularly upbeat about the streaming-video service that many expect Apple Inc. to unveil in the coming weeks,” Emily Bary reports for MarketWatch.

“‘While this will likely usher in an era of Apple originals, the overall effort appears likely to be sub-scale, years behind key competitors, and lacking in meaningful differentiation,’ he wrote,” Bary reports. “He said the company’s efforts in video ‘will likely remain uninspiring’ and doesn’t see an easy way for Apple to catch up with rivals that are more experienced in the space.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just getting Andy on the record here, so we can use it against him in the future. 🙂

iCal’ed.

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12 Comments

  1. Honestly Apple is already giving me bad vibes in this space. Their family friendly content focus will be an immediate hamper. I also picture the UI to be a nightmare because the Apple TV UI hasn’t improved a lick since it’s first iteration (it has gotten prettier, tbf).

    If you need an example and don’t have Apple TV just check out Apple’s poorly designed Watch App. It’s atrocious. No auto play. Terrible lay out. Horrific recommendation engine.

    And while I love Apple Music it still doesn’t have many basic features that my friends won’t leave Spotify for. Apple doesn’t seem to care because the features would be incredibly simple to introduce (Collaborative playlists anyone?).

    I am a devout Apple die hard (and shareholder), but as Apple increases it’s reliance on services they need to start getting them right. Apple should’ve bought Amazon ten years ago and kicked that Bezos idiot out. Now they need Netflix but they won’t bother. Is it hubris?

    I read somewhere once and I forget where but it said that Apple is getting better with internet services at a slower rate than google is advancing at hardware and software design. At the time I laughed it off. Google is still a poor Apple imitator but they are starting to please their users the way Apple used to.

    1. We all know Cook’s glaring weaknesses and they translate terribly to an industry that requires diligence and constant attention. To think otherwise is just being plain foolish. Netflix just won 4 fricken Oscars and their lead is insurmountable.

  2. I am a big Apple fan and a big MDN fan. But on this issue I think Andy has it about right. Apple has not shown any ability to innovate in the content space since Steve Jobs set up the iTunes deal, which was very innovative. I think Eddie Cue is a zero and I don’t think Tim Cook has the imagination to do something creative in this complicated space. Apple is very good at hardware, except when it fails for about 5 years to update a key product. But Apple is no good in streaming and content service.

    That said, I hope I am wrong.

  3. I’m also not super optimistic about this venture. Unless Apple can start out with a strong a alliance with Disney (Pixar connections) and/or other major content holders, relying on original content will take a long, long time to gain traction. Look at how long Netflix and HBO were around before their original content caught fire.

    Besides Disney, I wish Apple would go after content which otherwise isn’t readily available for streaming. For example, Apple could offer to re-master classic films from before 1960 in exchange for a 10 year exclusive streaming rights.

    The next most obvious target would be live sports. Having access to live sports at a reasonable cost is prolly the most common reason why people hesitate to ditch their cable companies. There are some online options now, but they seem rather cumbersome, at least what I’ve seen. Would love to know from someone who is a sports junkie and has managed to cut the chord without giving up their first-born.

  4. Many laughed at Apple as it entered the cell phone market, so I would not rule it out. For me, it is hard to see how it could come up with content that is so compelling that you would buy an Apple product just to view it. However, I could see Apple providing content that is bundled, easy to get to with an iPhone or ATV, and makes staying with Apple a little more ‘sticky’ as the analysts are so fond of saying. Evolutionary not revolutionary still works.

    1. I find it hard to envision Apple as a me-too content provider simply broadcasting a different bundle of shows, some of them original. But I would not be surprised if Apple offers a different form of entertainment that is more interactive than 2D video and requires an Apple device to participate.

    1. That’s how it’s done. No global corporation makes money on paper.

      They avoid taxes with accounting tricks routing cash through multiple shell companies in foreign tax havens. Wall Street rewards this behavior. Incidentally, so does the 2017 republican tax break. That is why no economic trends going back to at least 2010 have changed, except of course spikes in executive pay and stock buybacks. Small business and Working class screwed again, as always.

    2. But that’s the problem with Apple. Big investors seem to be mainly concerned with growth and less with profit. Netflix has a P/E of 135 to Apple struggling to hold a P/E of 14. Big investors keep pouring money into Netflix, not Apple. You’ll never hear Wall Street calling Netflix doomed. They reserve that term for Apple.

      I see no reason for Apple to acquire Netflix because I think Netflix isn’t worth that money. However, I’m the stupid one as Netflix shareholders are seeing tremendous share gains while Apple sees almost none. Future value seems uncertain to me so that’s not how I value an investment. It’s unlikely I’ll ever become wealthy because I’m not a big gambler willing to take risks.

      But then again, I’m not happy how Apple keeps betting on the iPhone when there doesn’t seem to be any future growth at all in the high-end smartphone business.

  5. I agree with above comments. If I look at what I have really enjoyed over the last few years it’s been HBO, with a smattering of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. The things I have enjoyed the most are clearly risqué, controversial or hard hitting. The noises we have heard are that Apple wants content which is none of these things.

    Now that’s fine, maybe that will be a successful point of differentiation. It won’t be for me however, and the problem with that is that Apple wants us to be part of a big roll of services; music, media etc. I dare say that’s I’m not alone and to have a video service that a large chunk of users don’t want seems to me a problem. Not to mention he fact that I would have loved another source of good content which it seems like I’m not going to get from a Apple.

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