Apple TV+ focusing on quality over quantity, says Eddy Cue

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple TV+, launching this fall, will emphasize a small but high-quality lineup, said Apple's software and services VP Eddy Cue in a recent interview.


"For All Mankind," one of Apple's announced shows.


The company is working on "creating the best" content rather than "creating the most," Cue told The Times this week. He nevertheless acknowledged that Netflix has succeeded with a non-stop flow of new content, such that viewers can even complain about the barrage making it hard to choose.

"Their motto is to create a lot of content so there's always something for you to watch, and it's working really well," Cue remarked. "There's nothing wrong with that model, but it's not our model."

Apple is preparing an assortment of original shows for launch, with high-profile creators like Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and Oprah Winfrey already lined up. It's not yet clear however if the company will have any third-party shows or movies, and first-party video so far appears aimed at U.S. audiences, whereas Netflix targets cultures worldwide. Apple's launch regions are still unannounced.

Cue separately admitted that Apple had to recruit former Sony executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to take charge of Apple TV+ content given the company's blindspots.

"Look, we don't know a lot about television other than we are big consumers of it, but that doesn't quite qualify you as an expert by any means," he said. "The thing that we're smart about is when we don't know about something we want to get into, we go and find the best people for it."

More details about Apple's plans, such as pricing, are likely at an iPhone event in September. To prepare the company is overhauling its "TV" app and bringing it to third-party platforms, such as Roku and Amazon streamers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Hopefully they have learned from the 'Planet of the apps' disaster.
    flyingdpCarnage
  • Reply 2 of 24
    michelb76 said:
    Hopefully they have learned from the 'Planet of the apps' disaster.

    Back in 2017 Apple commented on this show.  Eddy Cue said something to the effect of Apple was simply trying things to see what works.

    And from Tim Cook’s comments in a quarterly conference call:

    “We have put our toe in the water with doing some original content for Apple Music, and that will be rolling out through the year. We’re learning a lot about the original content business and thinking about ways that we could play at that. We have more things planned, but it’s come a long way in a year, and it gives us a clear platform to build off of.”

    So based on this I’d say the show leans more towards success and less towards disaster. 
    MacQclolliver
  • Reply 3 of 24
    irelandireland Posts: 17,621member
    Netflix’s model is also treat the user like a piece-of-meat-to-raise-their-share-price. Originally, Netflix’s streaming model at $6.99 as the only plan with no contract and no ads was a good offering, this is what built the service up, but now they have a tiered plan that puts limits on cheaper plans, they’ve raised prices a few times, and they’ve lost a lot of licensed content, but have replaced it mostly with much of their own garbage shows. And in making this barrage of crap show they fit us, their users with the bill (users who built their service up). Worse content for much more money, isn’t why people joined Netflix originally.

    Other problems with Netflix: crap at making apps, deliberately hiding and getting rid of useful settings, navigation is a mess, rearranging your list every time you enter an item on the list—this is to get you watching for longer, it doesn’t in any way value a user’s experience or time, it merely sees our time as their commodity to abuse for profit—and it makes trying to go peruse your list in a conscious manner, like some kind of nightmare in futility.

    Rest assured Netflix doesn’t give two shits about their users. You’d think with all of the competition coming up around them they’d be caring more about us, not less.

    Another horrible trend for them is to stretch out fictional and documentary shows into many more episodes than is required—once again, not to give you a better experience, but just to keep you watching for longer. I could name off-hand several times they have done this recently. Many people are fooled by this, but not me. Regardless of what Disney or Apple come out with this year, I’ll most likely leave Netflix this year.
    edited June 29 matrix077lolliver
  • Reply 4 of 24
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 974member
    Man, they’re really milking the moon landing this year. 
  • Reply 5 of 24
    On one hand, having a lot of content allows you to gauge your users' interests and demographics. On the other hand, you need that data to focus on "quality" for your audience. My question is how does Apple determine what's "quality" if they don't really provide much content to gauge its users? It's not binary.
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 6 of 24
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,185unconfirmed, member
    Sounds like a long game plan. Imagine all the garbage you'd have to sort through on Netflix in 5 years? If Apple succeeds their service would be quite the opposite.
    edited June 29 lolliver
  • Reply 7 of 24
    doggonedoggone Posts: 183member
    I really don't get the premise of For All Mankind. Makes no sense to create an alternative history drama about a major event such as the moon landing.
    flyingdp
  • Reply 8 of 24
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,751member
    The company is working on "creating the best" content rather than "creating the most," Cue told The Timesthis week. He nevertheless acknowledged that Netflix has succeeded with a non-stop flow of new content, such that viewers can even complain about the barrage making it hard to choose.
    "Their motto is to create a lot of content so there's always something for you to watch, and it's working really well," Cue remarked. "There's nothing wrong with that model, but it's not our model."

    Well he has to say that at the beginning as Apple will have a lot less than competitors. 

    Well he has to say that at the beginning as Apple will have a lot less content than competitors. If it is that way for any length of time though the subscription model will fail. Why keep paying once you have watched it all?
  • Reply 9 of 24
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,751member

    doggone said:
    I really don't get the premise of For All Mankind. Makes no sense to create an alternative history drama about a major event such as the moon landing.
    I think it is a great idea. I fear what they do with it though.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,185unconfirmed, member
    entropys said:

    doggone said:
    I really don't get the premise of For All Mankind. Makes no sense to create an alternative history drama about a major event such as the moon landing.
    I think it is a great idea. I fear what they do with it though.
    It looks good but I have a feeling it will spark nationalist/racist debates. Something Apple is not intending.
    flyingdp
  • Reply 11 of 24
    doggone said:
    I really don't get the premise of For All Mankind. Makes no sense to create an alternative history drama about a major event such as the moon landing.
    I'm guessing you've never seen Man in the High Castle.  Not only that, there are a ton of alternative history movies and TV shows that have been made over the years.  It's nothing new.  

    On topic:  If Cue is concentrating on quality over quantity, what's his definition of quality?  Quality content is a purely subjective concept.  Regardless, no matter how much he prioritizes quality (whatever that means), he's going to have to have quantity as well.  The service is going to have to appeal to wide audiences if it wants the sub count to grow.  Additionally, every offering isn't going to be a success.  Anyone who has even the smallest amount of knowledge of the entertainment industry knows that it's a numbers game.  50 shows get produced in the hopes that 5 might be successful... 35 of the produced shows might not even make it a pilot.  I'm sure Apple knows that as well so they are going to have to pump out content in volume to get the few quality shows that might emerge.
    chemengin1
  • Reply 12 of 24
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 967member
    On one hand, having a lot of content allows you to gauge your users' interests and demographics. On the other hand, you need that data to focus on "quality" for your audience. My question is how does Apple determine what's "quality" if they don't really provide much content to gauge its users? It's not binary.
    There have been selling and renting 90% of available movies and TV shows on iTunes for years. More recently streaming 3rd party content via Apple TV. They have had quite a bit of data to analyze. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 24
    genovelle said:
    On one hand, having a lot of content allows you to gauge your users' interests and demographics. On the other hand, you need that data to focus on "quality" for your audience. My question is how does Apple determine what's "quality" if they don't really provide much content to gauge its users? It's not binary.
    There have been selling and renting 90% of available movies and TV shows on iTunes for years. More recently streaming 3rd party content via Apple TV. They have had quite a bit of data to analyze. 
    All of that data can tell you what's popular and what sells.  It cannot tell you what's considered quality.  There's no data that determines quality.  Like everyone else, they are going to have shows that hit and shows that miss.  If they have enough hits to bat .300, they will be fine.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    CarmboCarmbo Posts: 8unconfirmed, member
    You can charge X amount and then scramble to deliver enough content to justify whatever the target monthly subscription is but there is an alternative approach. Deliver original content and then charge accordingly. In other words, if you're Apple, don't waste money buying up filler content and instead charge a lesser amount that is a fair price for what you deliver.

    Realistically, if the incoming content providers try to emulate the Netflix model, i.e. offer a service with volume for in excess of $15 a month for the top tier, this forces consumers to choose between various options because subscribing to all the impending services is simply too expensive for most. Instead, what we should see is multiple services priced to be viable for consumers to subscribe to multiple offerings. It shouldn't be about Apple TV+ competing with Netflix but rather Apple's offering serving as a decent compliment. Apple would, at the right low-enough price, attract more than enough subscribers to make money off it's original programming without trying to compete against Netflix for a finite pool of content of varied quality. Let Netflix do the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink routine, but offer up let's say a $5-a-month service that delivers some excellent content to consumers. Apple doesn't pay for more than a specific amount of unique content but still makes a lot of money because it's lower-cost, more-focused offering is seen by consumers as something well worth adding on to whatever else consumers have access to. The potential number of subscribers to such a lower-cost package is staggering.

    If, on the other hand, Apple insists it is delivering quality and hence should charge closer to let's say $10 a month for a lot less content than Netflix or even Disney, frankly, that will not fly. Those services will, undoubtedly, have some quality of their own sprinkled in with all that filler. 

    The amount of the subscription fee will have a lot more to do with if Apple's service succeeds than how many of its programs are well-received by critics and consumers. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 24
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 716member
    Quality over quantity? It better be really good quality, since Disney owns a a major quantity of all media. And Disney+ is going to be US$7, compare with Apple's US$10. Given a choice between Disney+'s zillion shows & movies vs. Apple's dozen, I'll go with Disney+.
    Carnage
  • Reply 16 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,597member
    Just to comment on some of the head-tilting statements in this thread:

    1. Netflix has some terrific original shows. Not every one of their original shows is fantastic, but just because something isn't to your taste doesn't mean it's garbage. Dismissing stuff like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The OA, Altered Carbon, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Umbrella Academy, Grace and Frankie, Dear White People and MST3K and believe me I could go on for a while like that ... just makes you look a fool. It's perfectly okay and fine if you don't feel you're getting your money's worth and want to go elsewhere -- lots of very fine TV shows on other services. But most of the ones I just mentioned have won awards and are major draws to the service, so uh ... the universe doesn't revolve around your taste, or lack thereof.

    2. "They're really milking the moon landing" ... um, you only get one 50th anniversary, so ... yeah. They (and everyone else) are. As one would expect.

    3. Aaploutsider: did you forget a /s tag? You're not seriously suggesting that you can't make shows that are high-quality without making a tonne of stuff, are you? That's ... that's not how that works, in case you weren't aware.

    4. For All Mankind looks quite interesting, but all we have is the trailer to go by so far. The moon landing was an accomplishment of the USA, yes, but it became a world event. I think Ronald D. Moore and his team (best known for various Star Trek series and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica) may have an inkling on how to create a series that is provocative and interesting without being unduly inflammatory. Both ST and BG tackled issues of government, politics, war & peace, and race/racial harmony without causing huge backlash, I see no reason they couldn't do that again.
    flyingdpapplesnorangeslollivercornchip
  • Reply 17 of 24
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 719member
    chasm said:
    Just to comment on some of the head-tilting statements in this thread:

    1. Netflix has some terrific original shows. Not every one of their original shows is fantastic, but just because something isn't to your taste doesn't mean it's garbage. Dismissing stuff like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The OA, Altered Carbon, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Umbrella Academy, Grace and Frankie, Dear White People and MST3K and believe me I could go on for a while like that ... just makes you look a fool. It's perfectly okay and fine if you don't feel you're getting your money's worth and want to go elsewhere -- lots of very fine TV shows on other services. But most of the ones I just mentioned have won awards and are major draws to the service, so uh ... the universe doesn't revolve around your taste, or lack thereof.

    2. "They're really milking the moon landing" ... um, you only get one 50th anniversary, so ... yeah. They (and everyone else) are. As one would expect.

    3. Aaploutsider: did you forget a /s tag? You're not seriously suggesting that you can't make shows that are high-quality without making a tonne of stuff, are you? That's ... that's not how that works, in case you weren't aware.

    4. For All Mankind looks quite interesting, but all we have is the trailer to go by so far. The moon landing was an accomplishment of the USA, yes, but it became a world event. I think Ronald D. Moore and his team (best known for various Star Trek series and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica) may have an inkling on how to create a series that is provocative and interesting without being unduly inflammatory. Both ST and BG tackled issues of government, politics, war & peace, and race/racial harmony without causing huge backlash, I see no reason they couldn't do that again.

    Altered Carbon Is garbage though. The production is good. That’s all you can say about it. Stranger things is in completely different league and that we can call “quality”. 
    edited June 29
  • Reply 18 of 24
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,756member
    Carmbo said:
    You can charge X amount and then scramble to deliver enough content to justify whatever the target monthly subscription is but there is an alternative approach. Deliver original content and then charge accordingly. In other words, if you're Apple, don't waste money buying up filler content and instead charge a lesser amount that is a fair price for what you deliver.

    Realistically, if the incoming content providers try to emulate the Netflix model, i.e. offer a service with volume for in excess of $15 a month for the top tier, this forces consumers to choose between various options because subscribing to all the impending services is simply too expensive for most. Instead, what we should see is multiple services priced to be viable for consumers to subscribe to multiple offerings. It shouldn't be about Apple TV+ competing with Netflix but rather Apple's offering serving as a decent compliment. Apple would, at the right low-enough price, attract more than enough subscribers to make money off it's original programming without trying to compete against Netflix for a finite pool of content of varied quality. Let Netflix do the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink routine, but offer up let's say a $5-a-month service that delivers some excellent content to consumers. Apple doesn't pay for more than a specific amount of unique content but still makes a lot of money because it's lower-cost, more-focused offering is seen by consumers as something well worth adding on to whatever else consumers have access to. The potential number of subscribers to such a lower-cost package is staggering.

    If, on the other hand, Apple insists it is delivering quality and hence should charge closer to let's say $10 a month for a lot less content than Netflix or even Disney, frankly, that will not fly. Those services will, undoubtedly, have some quality of their own sprinkled in with all that filler. 

    The amount of the subscription fee will have a lot more to do with if Apple's service succeeds than how many of its programs are well-received by critics and consumers. 
    I agree with you.  $5 is good after a few free weeks.  $10 is arrogant folly.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,756member
    Carmbo said:
    You can charge X amount and then scramble to deliver enough content to justify whatever the target monthly subscription is but there is an alternative approach. Deliver original content and then charge accordingly. In other words, if you're Apple, don't waste money buying up filler content and instead charge a lesser amount that is a fair price for what you deliver.

    Realistically, if the incoming content providers try to emulate the Netflix model, i.e. offer a service with volume for in excess of $15 a month for the top tier, this forces consumers to choose between various options because subscribing to all the impending services is simply too expensive for most. Instead, what we should see is multiple services priced to be viable for consumers to subscribe to multiple offerings. It shouldn't be about Apple TV+ competing with Netflix but rather Apple's offering serving as a decent compliment. Apple would, at the right low-enough price, attract more than enough subscribers to make money off it's original programming without trying to compete against Netflix for a finite pool of content of varied quality. Let Netflix do the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink routine, but offer up let's say a $5-a-month service that delivers some excellent content to consumers. Apple doesn't pay for more than a specific amount of unique content but still makes a lot of money because it's lower-cost, more-focused offering is seen by consumers as something well worth adding on to whatever else consumers have access to. The potential number of subscribers to such a lower-cost package is staggering.

    If, on the other hand, Apple insists it is delivering quality and hence should charge closer to let's say $10 a month for a lot less content than Netflix or even Disney, frankly, that will not fly. Those services will, undoubtedly, have some quality of their own sprinkled in with all that filler. 

    The amount of the subscription fee will have a lot more to do with if Apple's service succeeds than how many of its programs are well-received by critics and consumers. 
    I agree with you.  $5 is good after a few free weeks.  $10 is arrogant folly.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    matrix077 said:
    chasm said:
    Just to comment on some of the head-tilting statements in this thread:

    1. Netflix has some terrific original shows. Not every one of their original shows is fantastic, but just because something isn't to your taste doesn't mean it's garbage. Dismissing stuff like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The OA, Altered Carbon, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Umbrella Academy, Grace and Frankie, Dear White People and MST3K and believe me I could go on for a while like that ... just makes you look a fool. It's perfectly okay and fine if you don't feel you're getting your money's worth and want to go elsewhere -- lots of very fine TV shows on other services. But most of the ones I just mentioned have won awards and are major draws to the service, so uh ... the universe doesn't revolve around your taste, or lack thereof.

    2. "They're really milking the moon landing" ... um, you only get one 50th anniversary, so ... yeah. They (and everyone else) are. As one would expect.

    3. Aaploutsider: did you forget a /s tag? You're not seriously suggesting that you can't make shows that are high-quality without making a tonne of stuff, are you? That's ... that's not how that works, in case you weren't aware.

    4. For All Mankind looks quite interesting, but all we have is the trailer to go by so far. The moon landing was an accomplishment of the USA, yes, but it became a world event. I think Ronald D. Moore and his team (best known for various Star Trek series and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica) may have an inkling on how to create a series that is provocative and interesting without being unduly inflammatory. Both ST and BG tackled issues of government, politics, war & peace, and race/racial harmony without causing huge backlash, I see no reason they couldn't do that again.

    Altered Carbon Is garbage though. The production is good. That’s all you can say about it. Stranger things is in completely different league and that we can call “quality”. 
    Quality in shows is and always has been about production value. It is not about wether you like the story or not. Quality productions spend more time developing their scripts so the dialogue is more realistic. Quality productions spend more time developing their interior sets to be more realistic and fuse into that more location shoots to lend credibility to the interior sets and the overall story. Quality productions take more care in how something is shot rather then just trying to get it in the can. If you compare things like Game of Thrones vs. Merlin or House of Cards vs. Madame Secretary you can see what I mean. I am sure you guys could work out lots more comparisons but it always comes back to one thing, Just because the quality of a production is high doesn’t mean it will be liked, that is a whole different issue.
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