Prestige is an award for AppleTV+ at the Emmys, not subscribers

Brendan Hunt, Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein star in AppleTV+’s “Ted Lasso”.


Is this the year of Apple TV+?

The streamer’s historic Oscar win for Best Picture was overshadowed by an altercation between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock in March, but a big win at Monday’s Emmys could bolster the epidemic. This service as one of the most reputable content providers in the streaming space.

“Apple TV+ follows a ‘less is more’ strategy,” said Peter Csathy, founder and president of consulting firm Creative Media. “Less titles but bigger names and premium quality.”

In recent years, Csathy noted that Apple TV+ has built a small but critically acclaimed catalog that “almost became the new HBO,” known for its quality series before the merger. with HBO Max.

Apple TV+, which has been around for less than three years, has earned a total of 52 Emmy nominations for 13 different titles by 2022. HBO and HBO Max have received 140 nominations combined, and Netflix received 104.

Apple TV+ breakout hit “Ted Lasso” was again voted for Outstanding Comedy Series, while its new show “Severance” was voted for Outstanding Drama Series. Competition in both categories is intense, in part due to new entrants like “Squid Game,” “Yellow Jackets,” and “Abbot Elementary.” This is also the final year to qualify for “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark.”

Earlier this year, Apple TV+ won Best Picture at the Oscars for “CODA,” marking the first time a streaming platform has earned the top award. Troy Kotsur, who starred in the film, also became the first deaf person to win an Oscar for acting.

Currently, streaming services have used the prestige associated with Hollywood nominations or awards to incentivize subscribers or recruit top talent. Over the past decade, Emmy awards for shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Crown” have marked the Netflixallowing the service to bring in top talent like Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes and Guillermo del Toro.

Still from AppleTV+’s “Dismissal”.


Such credibility is even more important for Apple, which has long partnered with the biggest names in music and Hollywood because of its cache. That’s because Apple TV+’s primary goal is to sell Apple products – not attract hundreds of millions of subscribers.

“Apple has always used content to market its products,” says Csathy. “For Apple, a streaming service is just the ultimate vehicle – and ultimately sales of iPhones, Macs, Apple TVs, etc. As long as Apple TV+ screams for quality, it should serve a purpose. its in Apple’s overall machine.”

While streaming services often offer limited metrics, Apple has been particularly quiet since launching its streaming video platform in November 2019. Unlike many others in the field. , the company does not disclose data on financial performance, content spending, or subscriber counts for individual programs or services in general. (Even “Severance” executive producer Ben Stiller expressed disappointment at Apple’s vague statistics.)

When Apple CEO Tim Cook is asked about the service, he often points to nominations and awards, suggesting that’s the metric Apple is using to gauge its success.

“In the two and a half years since launch, Apple TV+ has now racked up 250 wins and more than 1,100 award nominations and is continuing to grow,” Cook told analysts during an earnings call in September. Seven.

In June, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimated that the service has from 20 million to 40 million subscribers and that generates about $1 billion to $2 billion in annual revenue. That would be a drop in the group relative to the company’s overall balance sheet, reached $366 billion in fiscal year 2021.

Apple TV+ content spending is estimated to be lower than that of rival streaming players. Netflix is ​​expected to spend about $17 billion on content this year, and Disney about $32 billion spread across its media divisions. By contrast, Bernstein thinks Apple spends just north of $3 billion, while Rayburn estimates the figure to be closer to $1 billion to $2 billion.

Those predictions would suggest that the service could be at a loss.

Dan Rayburn, a media and streaming analyst, notes that there’s no clear data that Hollywood recognition means increased subscribers. But for Apple, he notes that the calculation really doesn’t matter.

“If Apple TV+ gets 10 million subscribers or they get 20 million subscribers, will it move the needle from a revenue standpoint? No.” Rayburn said. “They don’t even have to disclose it to Wall Street because it’s not a physical impact on the company.”

– CNBC’s Kif Leswing contributed to this report.

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