Apple is willing to sacrifice Apple TV for Apple TV+

“Apple is really taking this services thing to heart. When the company took the wraps off its paid subscription Apple TV+ service, it also unveiled a host of platforms customers will be able to stream the service from,” Adam Levy writes for The Motley Fool. “Most notably, TV+ will be available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.”

“While Apple has 1.4 billion active devices in use, only a small handful of those are Apple TVs. Roku and Fire TV are, by far, the most popular way to watch streaming video on TV screens, and their lead is growing,” Levy writes. “Just 15% of streamers used an Apple TV device, according to a Parks Associates survey from last year. By comparison, Roku and Amazon held 37% and 28% shares, respectively. A similar survey from William Blair analysts last summer found 27% and 29% of consumers stream video on a Roku or Fire TV, respectively, compared to just 16% that use Apple TV. It also found 30% of consumers stream video via the built-in operating system on their smart TV.”

“It’s impossible to tell whether this strategy will result in a more profitable company,” Levy writes. “But considering the massive television audience outside of Apple’s hardware reach and the relatively small size of Apple TV in the company’s business, the risk is certainly worth it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, without knowing on how much Apple TV+ costs per month and how much Apple is really planning on spending on content, or even how many Apple TV units Apple sells and at what margin there’s no way to gauge the size of Apple’s risk here.

However, you can figure the risk is small in the grand scheme of things, since in the last 90-odd day quarter, Apple brought in operating cash flow of $26.7 billion.


  1. ““It’s impossible to tell whether this strategy will result in a more profitable company,” Levy writes.

    Oh, Apple’s had ridiculous profits for years, and investors don’t really care. Every smash hit quarter is waved off with “Yeah but it won’t last”

    This is Apple saying “You want to see what our long term userbase is worth? Check this out!” … Once all these services are rolled out, it will be fun to see Apple’s services business really blossom.

    1. Just hoping Apple will not make its usual (over)pricing mistake(s), especially in Europe, where traditional TV-subscriptions run around €10/mo. (+ extra for “luxury” content — but already containing a lot of garbage channels in the basic package deal: here Apple could do better, re: iTunes audio by song, not volume).
      However, if Apple were to succeed in squeezing in its Apple TV functionality inside other set-top boxes and even in TV sets as standard on-board functionality, Apple TV(w. or w.o. “+”) could become huge.
      I further strongly feel Apple shouldn’t become its own production house, which isn’t its core business (– unless AppleTV would come in the form of a loosely coupled acquisition or spin-off). It is already producing too many iPad models, which is reminiscent of the dreadful (and underpowered, willfully crippled) Performa line).

  2. Absurd to worry about the Apple TV market share. Most people will use the service on their iPads and iPhones. And if the service is popular, it will increase Apple TV share.

  3. What if Apple plays it the other way around? That is, sign up for their Apple Music & Apple TV plus for 6 months and get a free Apple TV 4K?…

    So many options they have.

    1. If anything, Apple TV sales will likely increase. People interested in this new service – some – will decide to get Apple TV as it would be assumed Apple’s services would run best on Apple hardware. It’ll also bring more awareness to Apple TV 4K hardware.

      Overall, the more successful Apple TV + becomes, and the more aware of Apple’s streaming services the consumer becomes aware of, the more Apple TV hardware is likely to sell.

      16% or so today could be 25% share in two-years from now.

  4. Apple already sacrificed Apple TV when they removed storage and made the current Siri remote. Since they can’t seem to update their hardware worth a c$#p anymore and with their admitted push into Services, maybe it won’t be much longer before they begin licensing of Mac OS to other computer vendors who will keep them up to date and where up to date means with the latest hardware not Bluetooth 4.2 on 2019 iMacs!?!? Etc., etc…

  5. Apple TV was doomed the minute Amazon produced the FireStick.

    I can buy one 4K Apple TV box for $179.

    I can buy three and a half 4k FireSticks for $179. Target has them on sale occasionally for $39, so I can get four of them.

    No Siri, but the FireTV voice search works just fine.

  6. I work at a state-wide Public Television station. Our television and streaming app is only available on Apple TV. Not because we don’t want to be on other platforms, but because we can’t. Apple makes it easy to put your content up for streaming. So in the end we really don’t care about the sales of Roku or Fire… we’re not on them.

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