A former Netflix and Hulu executive thinks that Apple TV+ has a good shot at holding its own against its streaming TV rivals.
Despite the increasingly crowded streaming landscape, Simon Gallagher said that Apple is making all the right moves for success.
“You’ve seen with Showtime and HBO, it’s only taken a couple of shows each season to encourage people to maintain their … subscription, and I think Apple will absolutely be able to do that with the current lineup they have in place,” Gallagher told CNBC‘s “Squawk Alley.”
Apple is spending billions of dollars on acquiring shows featuring some big names. For a full list of TV and movie projects Apple is currently working on, check out our rundown here.
“I think they are being very deliberate in the initial selections and the genres they have gone after,” Gallagher continued. “They have popular genres with absolute marquee, best-of-breed talent.” He added that, so long as users are “consuming great content, they won’t churn out of the service.”
Gallagher knows the field well. He previously worked as Hulu’s director of strategy and business development. From there, he jumped to Netflix as its director of content acquisition. He left Netflix in May 2014.
He also made another valuable point about Apple TV+: Apple’s ability to promote it. There are 1.4 billion Apple devices already in use around the world. That gives it a major advantage in terms of audiences to push content out to. (Potentially, although Apple hasn’t done so yet, via pretty direct methods.) Apple Stores will also play a factor.
“The foot traffic that they get through the stores, if you think about your ability to promote a new film or TV show through that type of venue, that I think is pretty impressive,” Gallagher said.
Apple TV+: What are its big advantages?
I think these are good points, particularly the last one. Apple certainly has a massive user base it can appeal to. The fact that it is offering incredibly low pricing and free 1-year subscriptions to anyone who buys a new device is a big win.
The question of whether Apple’s content will be enough to win over customers is what remains to be seen. The idea that you only need one or two great shows at a time makes it sound easy. But it really, really isn’t.
Already there have been concerns that Apple will offer anodyne, watered-down content that may have a hard time appealing to some customers. The streaming landscape today is far more crowded today than it was when Gallagher worked at Hulu and Netflix. There’s too much great content to watch already. You need more than just a great show to succeed; you need a breakout blockbuster show that will get everyone talking. So far, it’s not totally clear if Apple has that.
What do you think? Is Apple TV+ well-placed to take on its rivals? What are the biggest challenges in its path? Let us know in the comments below.