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Apple's Upcoming Streaming Service Is Reportedly So Bland Staff Call It 'Expensive NBC'

By Gizmodo

Apple’s new streaming service reportedly has a $1 billion budget, but apparently it can’t buy some nerve. The company has long censored its walled-garden offerings on platforms like the App Store,Read full story

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  • That’s a double dig. Ouch.

    Look, the stance is certainly defendable. It’s their platform, and they can choose what guardrails to put on it. It’s just a matter of figuring out who you want to compete with, who you want to attract, and represents a win. Does Apple need to attract advertising dollars? Not. Do they need new customers? Again, not. Will they actually lose customers by offering only certain kinds of programming? Probably not.

    I guess the real question is why is Apple even bothering? Besides

    That’s a double dig. Ouch.

    Look, the stance is certainly defendable. It’s their platform, and they can choose what guardrails to put on it. It’s just a matter of figuring out who you want to compete with, who you want to attract, and represents a win. Does Apple need to attract advertising dollars? Not. Do they need new customers? Again, not. Will they actually lose customers by offering only certain kinds of programming? Probably not.

    I guess the real question is why is Apple even bothering? Besides the fact that they’ve got so much money they could literally never burn through it all, I’m not sure why they feel the need to run a studio.

  • Greg Vetter
    Greg VetterCEO at Tessemae’s

    This is where we will see the difference between a visionary CEO and a risk adverse professional manager CEO.

  • Apple doesn’t want to tarnish its brand with edgy content. I actually find that refreshing. If people are so keen to stream that kind of content there is a solution: Just come up with a new brand and show the raunchy stuff under that.

  • Cook is being coherent here. It keeps a certain consistency with their former privacy moves and the goal of protecting their users as a differentation strategy. However, such moves put them at a disadvantage with respect to Amazon and Netflix. It's the same story as with Siri vs. Alexa.

  • When you are striving for political correctness entertainment is impossible.

  • Creating and curating content is not the same as creating and curating software, as tech companies only learn the hard (read: expensive) way. That said, you can make a lot of mistakes with a $1B budget and still make some noise.

    Apple seems to be trying to differentiate itself in Disneylike fashion. (Remember, Disney CEO Bob Iger is on the Apple board.) A distinctive content brand requires risk-taking — even if the risk is, in Gizmodo’s terms, to be “bland.”

  • Apple had explicit music when it launched iTunes. I don’t have the details of how this service will be positioned but if this service is branded Apple and has Apple Production shows, I can see those shows having more scrutiny by Apple. If Apple has final say over every show appearing by other studios and production houses, then this service will have a limited audience. It’s hard for me to believe the latter.

  • Victor Anthony
    Victor AnthonyInternet Equity Analyst at Aegis Capital

    If Apple's intention is to seemingly become the OTT version of the Hallmark Channel, which saw a ratings Spike last year, mainly in Trump counties, then the strategy might work, rather than be a johnny come lately in the space. But the audience will be capped. Cook has zero programming experience, so odd that he is making programming decisions.

  • Ian Myers
    Ian MyersFounder at Country House Enterprises

    The driving force behind a lot of HBO’s success (and now Netflix is taking the hint), is that they are producing content you cannot get elsewhere and especially not on network television. Of course this is due to the properties, but it’s also due to the freedom of storytelling that more adult content can bring.

    It sounds like Apple isn’t providing anything different. So what am I paying for?

  • Apple has the potential to be as big as Netflix but not if they’re censoring art.

  • Jing Cao
    Jing CaoQuartz

    Hey now, NBC took over Brooklyn 99 so give them some credit. In all seriousness, there is already too much content out there in the world, which means the standard is much higher. Apple would need a hell of a lot more than just money to play in this league.

  • David Landau
    David LandauManaging Partner

    Apple executives would be wise to consider this constructive criticism of their streaming business.

    Either way, I am excited to watch Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

    “Apple’s competitors in the streaming arena like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO have all released grittier content on much fatter production budgets. Entertainment doesn’t need to be full of blood sprays and naked bodies to be entertaining, obviously, but the Journal’s report suggests that Apple’s desire to keep even the sternest of

    Apple executives would be wise to consider this constructive criticism of their streaming business.

    Either way, I am excited to watch Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

    “Apple’s competitors in the streaming arena like Netflix, Amazon, and HBO have all released grittier content on much fatter production budgets. Entertainment doesn’t need to be full of blood sprays and naked bodies to be entertaining, obviously, but the Journal’s report suggests that Apple’s desire to keep even the sternest of brows unfurrowed has hurt its lineup and could ultimately delay launch day... But show business isn’t really like the App Store or an iPhone commercial, where Apple’s prudish attitude at least makes more sense on business grounds.

    One key lesson of Netflix’s success was that the streaming format allowed it to air the kind of content previously relegated to premium cable channels like HBO. Narrow sensibilities—specifically Cook’s sensibilities, apparently—could mean the difference between Apple becoming a threat to its streaming rivals or a flop...

    On the plus side, there’s no mention that Apple execs are interfering with its planned adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic Foundation trilogy, which is long overdue for the Hollywood treatment.”

  • Kyo Kaku
    Kyo KakuVice President at China-Japan J/V

    I’m fed up with the kind of family-friendly nanny’s purity stuff by Disney. There is little room for Apple to step in.

  • Ethan Dickenson
    Ethan Dickenson

    I have to believe apple is smart and will deliver a product which is dynamically appealing and will surprise us all with the ingenuity and quality of the final product. It’s what apple has become known for, so our expectations are high, but if they deliver a ‘yawner’ it will hurt their reputation and the mindshare they have fought so hard to earn. I don’t think we need as much violence and profanity to deliver good content and quality stories but you can’t completely shy away from it either. The

    I have to believe apple is smart and will deliver a product which is dynamically appealing and will surprise us all with the ingenuity and quality of the final product. It’s what apple has become known for, so our expectations are high, but if they deliver a ‘yawner’ it will hurt their reputation and the mindshare they have fought so hard to earn. I don’t think we need as much violence and profanity to deliver good content and quality stories but you can’t completely shy away from it either. The public wants adventure and excitement and something which will make us gather around the water cooler to discuss what’s going to happen next. It’s not an easy thing to deliver but i have a lot of respect for the apple brand and its ability to surprise and inspire. I can’t imagine they would disappoint on something they are so vested in. The bar is high but apple is responsible for raising that bar more than any other company and this is yet another chance for them to exceed everyone’s expectations again. I’m excited to see what they deliver.

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