Snippet: Apple TV+ Became HBO Before HBO Could Become Netflix ☇

Shared on February 12, 2024

M.G. Siegler:

Unlike Warner Bros. Discovery, Apple doesn’t need to compete to have the most amount of content and subscribers possible to have their streaming bet pay off. Apple is playing a different game. They can afford to, quite literally. Amazon is as well, of course, but they have almost the opposite tactics. Amazon is a few extremely high profile shows (and NFL games) but mostly it’s aiming for everything under the sun. It’s almost more akin to Netflix. Apple is well, just like good old HBO. Relatively few shows, but a slow and methodical approach to building a library.

The notion of Netflix and HBO racing to become each other in the mid-2010s never really panned out, but this is a great take. Apple TV+ often gets overlooked—the amount of “who even has Apple TV+?!” comments come to mind. Nonetheless, for general entertainment, it has become my go-to streaming service because many of the shows have been really good. It’s lacking in a deep catalog of movies and sports (unless you like the random baseball game or the MLS add-on), but that’s fine.

Netflix has burnt up some goodwill by cracking down on password sharing, forcing people to more expensive plans or the tacky ad-supported tier, and HBO has basically been diluted with other Warner Bros. Discovery reality crap on Max. Prime Video and Hulu seem to have their place, but other than specific shows or movies, it doesn’t seem that people love either service. Smaller services, like Paramount+, Disney+, and Peacock are still fighting for relevancy and sustainability. Notable cowardice aside, Apple should stay the course, keep Apple TV+ ad-free and keep focusing on quality over quantity.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.