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Apple TV+ was announced five years ago, on March 25, 2019.

Apple TV+ will be promoted in the Apple Store in 2019

Apple TV+ is now available within for almost fifty years, and it appears to have been a financial success — but it is definitely a hit with the audience.

Incredibly, back in 2019, Oprah Winfrey announced that she was moving to the recently announced Apple TV+. She also told why — “Apple is in a billion pockets, y'all,” she said.

In fact, Apple TV+ is only available to those of the billion who subscribe or take a free trial. From time to time, Apple has actually pushed for this trial, offering generous free months or bundling it with all tiers of the Apple One package.

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However, being in your pockets is not the same thing as if he was being watched.

Oprah may have discovered this as her first of several series only began airing in 2021. And then in 2022, they terminated their agreement with Apple.

But perhaps it was premature. By then, Apple TV+ had become a hit — albeit for one performance.

Enter Ted Lasso

Apple TV+ actually began streaming on November 1, 2019, and Apple spent the months leading up to that announcement promoting it as much as possible. The service had an Apple Event headlined by stars ranging from Oprah to Sara Bareilles to Jason Momoa.

Despite the huge success and high expectations of series like The Morning Show, the shows generally received good reviews but were not hits. Two months into its existence, AppleInsider noted that Apple TV+ had the same problem — and the same opportunity — like all television networks and channels.

Apple TV+ needed one breakout hit, one show that people who weren't already watching could talk about.

Just one show can give impetus to the development of the service. For Netflix, that series was House of Cards, and long before that, The Larry Sanders Show did it for HBO.

Ted Lasso became a breakout hit on Apple TV+. The football comedy became a successful blockbuster and moved into the mainstream, if not even into US culture.

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You know you've arrived when the TV show is on others networks mention you because they will never do so until they are sure their audience will understand the reference. “Ted Lasso” was routinely referenced, eventually to the point that it became the subject of an extended Stephen Colbert skit on CBS.

This wasn't Colbert's first time premiering an Apple TV+ series on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, with Colbert appearing in “deleted scenes” from Severance in 2022.

If “Ted Lasso” was the first complete success, then “The Break” was perhaps the first truly critical success. “The Morning Show” rightfully has its fans, and “For All Mankind” is a wonderful hit, but “Severance” , seems to have generated more of a response.

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Hit after hit

Just as the Apple Watch became a health-centric device because that's what its owners used it for, so Apple TV+ became the home of science fiction. Beyond Severance ” there is “Foundation” and “Bunker”.

In each case, extremely expensive production values ​​and effects are added to a strong script.

Science fiction producers can now point to their track record and know that Apple TV+ is a good home for this type of show, and they might also take note of what seems like a pretty lavish expense.

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Producers who spoke informally with AppleInsider say that this is not true, that Apple has bottomless pockets. But it's also not true that the company's executives are interfering with the show as much as originally intended.

Instead, if the show seems to be doing well, if Apple likes the material being filmed, then it will support show and gives creative people a chance to put their best foot forward. However, if the footage doesn't look good, it's like Apple parachuting out an executive to micromanage production.

Apple is looking at the bigger picture

Apple probably wouldn't micromanage any show unless it was focused on making hits. But they hired TV people to do it, and no one in the industry is going to stand by when a supposed problem arises.

Success has many mothers, but problems have many leaders.

However, Apple was actually able to nod its way through its many TV series and movies without even having watched them. That the standards are generally so high and that Apple arguably has more success with critically acclaimed shows is almost irrelevant.

Because Apple is unique among streamers in that it doesn't actually require views to make a profit — because Apple doesn't need money. It may take time, it may build a small collection of high-profile shows, or it may ignore all the recommendations for buying libraries from existing studios or broadcasters.

Contrast this with Netflix, which discovered that it needed to have a consistent viewership to get people to subscribe. Its gigantic library is very attractive, but it seems to be the new hits that keep people from canceling.

One reason for this is that Netflix is ​​unable or unwilling to release all episodes of a show at once. If his plans or licensing agreement for the show requires a weekly release, then a hooked audience will be hooked for weeks.

Broadcast television has the same benefit, at least it keeps people coming back to watch ads week after week. But without new hits, broadcast networks are seeing audiences disappear.

For example, in 2023, before the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA strikes had even ended, CNN estimated that the networks had collectively lost $6 billion.

Only Disney+ should really be in the same position as Apple in not requiring immediate success because it has a huge mouse empire to back it up. Additionally, while each streamer has more material than Apple, Disney's collection dwarfs almost all of them.

However, Disney+ is costly for Disney, and despite this giant library, it had to compete to buy Hamilton, and most recently the company was rumored to have paid $75 million for Taylor Swift's video concert tour Eras.

Money is counting

Everyone knows that Apple has a lot of money, and it is true that it will spend it, to beat competitors' prices. What's less taken into account, however, is that Apple is also used to owning worldwide rights to everything it does.

This combination significantly influenced Apple's success.

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In particular, there was literally no other production company that could afford multinational epic “Pachinko.” Any other company approached would have had to partner with at least one or two others, but then Apple simply said yes.

Apple financed “Pachinko” itself and therefore has all the prestige and all the publicity for the show. Prestige and publicity are generally very important from a financial perspective for a non-streaming show, but even though Apple doesn't sell its shows to other broadcasters, this series is likely to will increase the number of subscriptions to Apple TV+.

Although Apple never releases viewing figures for its shows, the boost from success is so great that the company spent millions on them even after production ended.

Undoubtedly, there are many examples of this, but the one that is reliably known is called “CODA”. Apple did not make this film; it bought the rights to it after the film was completely finished.

Or rather, I tried.

Apple spent a huge amount of time, effort and money to secure the worldwide rights to CODA, but it failed. He got most of the world, but there are territories where the companies that already bought him would not sell their rights.

The movie was too valuable for them and their future catalogue, but Apple felt it was also valuable for their streaming service.

Apple was right. CODA won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 2022 Academy Awards. It was the streaming service's first film to win the award.

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This may be Apple's biggest award TV+ had such an award, but Apple itself claims to have received 451 more awards. it has been nominated for over 2,000 awards.

Harder than it seems

Apple fans may have expected the company television would do it, and, of course, everyone believed that he had the necessary money. But TV industry professionals know that television is nothing more than the production of iPhones.

In hindsight, Apple TV+ was able to launch then because we were all quarantined due to COVID shortly after. Consequently, they watched a lot of TV shows — but if it didn't do any good, there were plenty of alternatives to Apple TV+.

The most notable of the new streamers to launch in recent years is Disney+. Perhaps the least known is Paramount+.

And they both have problems that Apple TV+ doesn't have. Paramount+ is fighting for viewers and subscribers, while the number of Disney subscriptions is growing rapidly – — and yet, in order to survive, it has to raise prices.

Then Disney's financial problems are such that it is forced to cancel the show for tax reasons. The company is permanently stopping production of completed series to save money on paying cast and crew fees.

Apple TV+, like all streamers and all networks, has canceled a lot of shows, but has never actually removed a series. Once it's on Apple TV+, it will stay on, which is good for viewers — but also reassuring to producers.

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Today, a producer might want to try Netflix first, but They're sure to bring the series to Apple TV+ before Disney+. Apple TV+ brought Slow Horses on board after the BBC abandoned the thriller.

Working hard, perhaps even slowly, Apple TV+ created a small but very powerful library — and this power attracts both viewers and future producers.

We will never know Apple's business model for Apple TV+, the company will never tell us what its tables say that one hour of TV viewing is equal to two iPhones sold or whatever, plus we will never know anything about the financial requirements for the series or service.

However, we may soon find that Apple understands that Apple TV+ is a prime target for advertising.

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