Some in Hollywood insiders seem surprised that Apple TV+ has growing pains, but the service, which launched on November 1, 2019, is not yet even two-and-a-half years old.
Apple’s three Academy Awards for “CODA” gave its CEO Tim Cook a powerful moment of validation in Hollywood — it became the first streamer to win best picture, besting tech rivals Amazon and Netflix, less than three years after launching — but industry insiders say the company’s push into entertainment has come with some growing pains.
While Apple TV+ is appreciated as the most well-capitalized content buyer out there, many in Hollywood who’ve done business with the service say its content team is under-resourced and has stumbled in ways that have frustrated its production partners… Behind the scenes the speed of growth, along with the pandemic, have created concerns among many in Hollywood that the company lacks a sufficiently robust infrastructure. People who’ve done business with the streamer cited a variety of friction points: disruptive, last-minute marketing planning for projects that have been in the works for months; sloppy press rollouts; landing pages for series that weren’t ready in time.
Two content executives who’ve done business with Apple TV+ said its in-house lawyers lack familiarity with common entertainment law practices, which slows down dealmaking.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, growing pains for such a young service as Apple TV+ are to be expected and some in Hollywood seem to realize this, as Atkinson and Jarvey also report:
“I believe in what they are doing,” one high-level agency source told Insider. “It’s curated and special, talent-focused. Ambitious.” Creative stakeholders in Hollywood previously told Insider that while Apple TV+’s laser focus on A-list creators and stars keeps its volume low, the streamer’s deals are generous.
The agency source [contended] that all of the newer streaming services have hit speed bumps as they ramp up “because they are new… It’s unfair to think business affairs, production, and marketing would be top-notch from the jump.”
…C￼hris Albrecht, the head of Legendary TV and the former CEO of Starz and HBO, recently inked a deal with Apple TV+ for a series based on Legendary’s Monsterverse. “They are professional partners, not the toughest guys in the business and they’re not the easiest guys in the business,” he said. “It seems like they are in this game to win.”
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