Apple, Apple TV, and their original content strategy

This post from Pavan Rajam is long, well researched, and insightful, well worth the read if you are interested in Apple and their pursuit of the TV market.

Just a bit from the report:

Content development and production are not things Apple has done before. Will these shows even be good? Based on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu’s progress on this front, success is possible but not guaranteed.


In the current market, content is used to differentiate services, not hardware. Amazon, for example, uses original content to drive Prime subscriptions. It could care less whether you watch it on a Fire TV or another device.


If growing Services revenue is a high priority, will this original content be available on non-Apple platforms (like Apple Music on Android, or iTunes on Windows)?

Those are just a taste of a much bigger picture. Great read.

  • Mo

    Content development and production are not things Apple has done before.

    At one point in the easily-forgotten past, the same could’ve been said about HBO… or any of half a dozen cable players now known for their flagship series. Amazon Prime initiated its first original programming about five or six years ago, right? How long did it take them to work their way up to releasing high-quality new shows? Not long, as I remember.

    No, this has never been part of Apple’s DNA. But if they make the right hires and trust the right creative teams, they can get there.

    I’m not saying it’ll be easy. But it is possible.

  • Its a shame Apple never really loved Music enough to pay for one artists album to be produced like the mega amounts of TV they are suddenly funding.

    • Scott Adams

      Except they did. They did it for at least a half dozen performers before the music labels had a cow and conspired to squash Apple’s efforts.

      They also put together an entire month long music festival for years and charged nothing, sponsored several tours, sponsored stages at SXSW, featured performers at keynotes, set up exclusive radio shows for several performers to use as promotion vehicles, lured away Zane Lowe from BBC and set up Beats1 radio to promote performers on a show they give away for free, and paid for several performers’ music videos.

      And that’s not even getting into all of the free music-related software work they’ve done for years.

      Yeah, if only Apple spent money on music. lol

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  • nizy

    As Amazon refuses to sell anyone else’s hardware I think the 2nd passage you quoted is wrong to say the least. Amazon clearly want people of use their own hardware. I suspect its the same reason why it took so long to get an Apple TV app.