Apple’s strategy for beating Netflix is the streaming wars’ best so far

Apple TV+ will be available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions on November 1.
Apple TV+ will be available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions on November 1.

Jason Aten for Inc.:

Right now, Apple TV+ is mostly an interesting idea… Don’t get me wrong — what we’ve seen so far looks amazing, but who signs up to pay for something that offers only a handful of shows?

That’s why Apple’s offer, announced yesterday, to give it to everyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac is so brilliant… To win the streaming war, you need two things: content and an audience… Right now, Apple has neither…

Apple will probably sell 65 million to 75 million iPhones in just the holiday quarter alone. It’s doubtful that everyone who buys one will sign up for Apple TV+, but that’s just iPhones. And let’s say that half of them take Apple up on the offer of a free year. Those 37 million subscribers would make Apple TV+ the second-largest streaming service, with almost 36 percent more subscribers than Hulu’s 28 million… And if Apple does have those hits, it’ll be much easier for people to simply continue their subscription at $4.99 a month, which is half the price of Netflix, and a little less than Disney+. That could make it very painful to cancel for those who grow to love [exclusive series on Apple TV+]

MacDailyNews Take: Who said Apple’s strategy is to beat Netflix?

Apple strategy is to make owning and upgrading iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, etc. as irresistible as possible. The more people with iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, etc., the more Apple services to which they subscribe. Apple TV+ is part of that strategy. “Beating Netflix” is not a requirement nor it is Apple’s strategic goal.


  1. Apple can well afford to practically give away content if that manages to sell more Apple hardware. I don’t know why Apple hasn’t been using that strategy for the last couple of years since the smartphone market became fully saturated. I suppose Apple simply didn’t have everything in place, but now they do. Netflix has to rely on its streaming content and nothing else. If their subscriber growth stops, they’ll be in trouble because Netflix is being highly valued for continued subscriber growth. Apple has a huge cash reserve and can easily afford to buy additional content just as Netflix is doing. The only advantage Netflix has right now is that its content can be watched on many platforms while AppleTV+ is limited to being watched on only Apple hardware.

    Apple’s current customer base alone is more than enough to boost revenue although it may not put much pressure on Netflix. That’s OK, I’m sure Disney’s streaming service will definitely put a hurting on Netflix. I’m not concerned about Netflix hurting Apple’s streaming service and as long as Apple’s streaming content is able to sell hardware, that’s just icing on the cake. Apple will have a nice triple-threat going for it. AppleMusic, AppleArcade and AppleTV+ should do quite nicely. Imagine if Apple could bundle them all together for a decent price. That could really change the way Apple is looked at as a company. Apple still has a ways to go before being recognized by Wall Street as a Services company, but they seem to be trying, at least. I don’t see AppleTV+ beating Netflix and I don’t necessarily want it to beat Netflix. I only want Apple to gain additional revenue and remove that high iPhone dependency from Apple.

    1. Actually, AppleTV+ is NOT “limited to being watched on only Apple hardware.”

      Apple TV+ will also be available on select 2018, 2019 and newer Samsung smart TVs, and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future. Customers can also subscribe to and watch Apple TV+ at in Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

  2. Apple would probably do well if it offered everything from the DC Universe, new shows from the Netflix Marvel tv shows and other new DC & Marvel tv shows. There are decades of exciting stories to mine from DC & Marvel.

  3. Yes, I agree with MDN Take. For Apple, most profit comes from selling the hardware. The services, while also profitable over time, are “value-added” benefits for Apple’s hardware customers. The services enhances their user experience, to inspire loyalty and future hardware purchases. So for Apple, lower profit margin (or even just breaking even) is acceptable, because majority of Apple’s profit comes from hardware sales. That’s a huge advantage over competitors like Hulu and Netflix, who must profit from their services. Apple isn’t playing by the same rules. And from customers’ perspective, Apple’s motivations are directly-aligned with desires and expectations of customers. Apple isn’t mining them for data or overcharging for subscriptions. Because a happy customer equals more hardware sales.

  4. Remember the dumbass ‘experts’ who mocked Apple for not revealing its hand and prices back in April? That’s why they don’t run major enterprises. In this case Cook has played a blinder… about time mind.

  5. And, of course, the free if you buy offer could be extended year after year leading to substantial yearly subscriber growth- something that Netflix can’t match.

    I suspect Disney will notice quickly- what if Apple and Disney team up and offer both at one price?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.