Warren Buffett doubts Apple TV+ immediate success, but Apple 'can afford a mistake or two'...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 29
Famed investor Warren Buffett is uncertain about Apple's attempts to enter the highly-competitive streaming video market, but advises he believes its failure could end up being good for the company, especially one that strives for perfection in all areas of its business.




Speaking at The Gatehouse's Hands Up for Success luncheon on Thursday, Buffett expressed doubts about the Apple TV+ and Channels subscription, which were unveiled by the company on Monday. The number of opponents in the field ahead of Apple will make things tough to gain traction, he revealed, advising "You've got some very big players who are going to fight over those eyeballs."

Buffett believes the number of hours viewers can watch content for is limited by how much time there is in the day, reports CNBC. "You have very smart people with lots of resources trying to figure out how to grab another half hour of your time," he said. "I would not want to play in that game myself."

"Ten years from now, when we look at entertainment delivery, it will be what people want. It will be in the form they want," the Sage of Omaha proclaimed. "It's going to be a very, very big, hotly contested game, and the one thing I can guarantee is that the public will be the winner."

While casting doubt on Apple's video efforts, Buffett does suggest this may be a good thing overall if it fails. "I'd love to see them succeed, but thats a company that can afford a mistake or two," Buffet remarked. "You don't want to buy stock in the company that has to do everything right. Apple should do some things that don't work."

Berkshire Hathaway, which Warren Buffett chairs, currently has Apple as its largest investment in its portfolio. Despite reducing its stake in late 2018, the firm still owns a 5.5 percent share of Apple.

Buffett also passed comment on the payments industry when asked about Apple Card, the company's financial service made in partnership with Goldman Sachs. In Buffett's view "everybody in the world wants to control payments."

Berkshire Hathaway has an 18-percent stake in American Express.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    Apple’s first efforts already failed. Remember “Carpool Karaoke” or “Planet of the Apps”?
    macplusplusboltsfan17cornchiptmay
  • Reply 2 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,685member
    I think the same story was said about the iPhone too (in so many words)... humble sales, but then later took off like a Roman candle.
    sportyguy209StrangeDaysJWSCAppleExposed
  • Reply 3 of 31
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,643member
    This is going to be another hobby for awhile. I do not think anyone has quite figure out the killer app for TV. The more I talk to people who cut the cord their biggest complaint is the fact you can not easily switch between live content, (channel surfing). If you know exactly what you want to watch streaming is great, especially if you are into binge watching. But when you just want to mindlessly watch something it is not easy to just flip from channel to channel to find something new.
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 31
    "Buffet believes the number of hours viewers can watch content for is limited by how much time there is in the day."

    What a crazy belief.  Where does he get these wacky notions?
    king editor the grateravnorodomtenthousandthingsmac_dogcornchip
  • Reply 5 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Apple’s first efforts already failed. Remember “Carpool Karaoke” or “Planet of the Apps”?
    I don’t think Carpool Karaoke was a failure at all. I enjoyed watching many of the episodes. Why the fsking negativity all the time? So Apple should give up. Don’t try anymore? Go back to a shrinking, commoditized hardware market and stay there?
    StrangeDaysJWSCcornchipchasmAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 31
    FolioFolio Posts: 600member
    Few people give credit to Apple's billion-plus "home screen" advantage by 2020. Not just the left swipe (which I accidentally brush multiple times each day), but the native apps, the App Store ads, etc. etc. Netflix and Amazon have proven the barrier of entry to create compelling content is extremely low. Distribution is king. Apple's potential distribution dwarfs Amazon and Netflix combined in most metrics. Multiply 1 billion persons by hours of phone use each day. Even Walmart the world's largest retailer would be envious of that kind of encounter time. When Apple productions make its first hit, I doubt it will languish in obscurity. 
    StrangeDaysAppleExposed
  • Reply 7 of 31
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,170member
    maestro64 said:
    This is going to be another hobby for awhile. I do not think anyone has quite figure out the killer app for TV. The more I talk to people who cut the cord their biggest complaint is the fact you can not easily switch between live content, (channel surfing). If you know exactly what you want to watch streaming is great, especially if you are into binge watching. But when you just want to mindlessly watch something it is not easy to just flip from channel to channel to find something new.
    They demonstrated that very feature in the keynote. Not between broadcast channels but what does that mean anyway.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    "Buffet believes the number of hours viewers can watch content for is limited by how much time there is in the day."

    What a crazy belief.  Where does he get these wacky notions?
    He’s really stretching here! Since when do people not have unlimited time?
    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 31
    Folks: gotta fact-check your spelling of Buffett's last name. Or, just hire me as a copy editor!
    edited March 28
  • Reply 10 of 31
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    Folks: gotta fact-check your spelling of Buffett's last name. Or, just hire me as a copy editor!
    Jimmy Buffett agrees!  /s
    chasm
  • Reply 11 of 31
    Obviously, a lot of participants in video streaming. Most articles I read show the video streaming market at 17 to 19%. That shows it’s growing strong, but not yet saturated market. People had doubts about Apple Music, saying Spotify was in the lead. But they looked at the wrong numbers. Very few percentage had a music subscription, and Apple was able to pick on that population. Spotify is still in the lead, but they’re obviously worried as in the CEO is whining about the App Store again.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,162member
    Apple’s first efforts already failed. Remember “Carpool Karaoke” or “Planet of the Apps”?
    Those shows were terrible. By the sound of things with the upcoming shows, nothing really sounds interesting to me. I guess I will withhold judgement until I actually watch one of the new shows. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Apple’s first efforts already failed. Remember “Carpool Karaoke” or “Planet of the Apps”?
    Those shows were terrible. By the sound of things with the upcoming shows, nothing really sounds interesting to me. I guess I will withhold judgement until I actually watch one of the new shows. 
    That just means you are not the target audience. Have you ever considered the thought that your desires are not mainstream and are in the minority? What makes you think you are the arbiter of success? So many tech blog posters think they are the audience and what they want to see is the absolute measure of success. It’s like critics panning a movie only to see it succeed at the box office. It’s like the tech blogs declaring the Watch, the iPad, the iPhone as DOA and useless only to see them go on to dominate the market and sell wildly well. So what if you think Carpool Karaoke was “terrible”? 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 31
    I think Apple's angle on this is simple and not at all hidden. It’s about protecting your identity. If I get all my subscriptions through Apple’s service, then even though HBO, Showtime, CBS, Disney, ESPN know a lot about what I watch and how I watch it, they know nothing specific about me personally. I’m okay with that trade off, plus I get Apple's own content for free. [Probably?]

    Privacy is important to people. 
  • Reply 15 of 31
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,154member
    sflocal said:
    I think the same story was said about the iPhone too (in so many words)... humble sales, but then later took off like a Roman candle.
    Using this as an argument that anything Apple does will be successful is silly. Seems pretty obvious the only reason Apple is getting into original content is because they have more money than the know what to do with and are now obsessed with services they can charge people for. But subscription fatigue is real and that’s a worry with Apple getting into the game late. Scott Stein has a good column about this over at CNET. https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/apple-please-i-am-consumed-with-subscription-fatigue/?__twitter_impression=true
    chemengin
  • Reply 16 of 31
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,154member
    I think Apple's angle on this is simple and not at all hidden. It’s about protecting your identity. If I get all my subscriptions through Apple’s service, then even though HBO, Showtime, CBS, Disney, ESPN know a lot about what I watch and how I watch it, they know nothing specific about me personally. I’m okay with that trade off, plus I get Apple's own content for free. [Probably?]

    Privacy is important to people. 
    Apple may use privacy as a differentiator but they’re not spending billions of dollars on original content because of privacy. And I’m skeptical their original content will be free to people who own Apple hardware. One I think it devalues the content and two other content providers would run to regulators claiming it was an unfair advantage. Apple Music isn’t free, why would TV content be?
  • Reply 17 of 31
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,304member
    Apple’s first efforts already failed. Remember “Carpool Karaoke” or “Planet of the Apps”?
    Those aren’t fails, as those weren’t a business. They were free shows and a toe in the water of production which lead them here. 
    edited March 28 JWSCcornchip
  • Reply 18 of 31
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,304member

    maestro64 said:
    This is going to be another hobby for awhile. I do not think anyone has quite figure out the killer app for TV. The more I talk to people who cut the cord their biggest complaint is the fact you can not easily switch between live content, (channel surfing). If you know exactly what you want to watch streaming is great, especially if you are into binge watching. But when you just want to mindlessly watch something it is not easy to just flip from channel to channel to find something new.
    That isn’t going to change, because streaming libraries are on-demand by nature, not OTA. Have never considered this a problem for a nanosecond. I seek out my desired content and enjoy it.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,304member
    sflocal said:
    I think the same story was said about the iPhone too (in so many words)... humble sales, but then later took off like a Roman candle.
    Using this as an argument that anything Apple does will be successful is silly. Seems pretty obvious the only reason Apple is getting into original content is because they have more money than the know what to do with and are now obsessed with services they can charge people for. But subscription fatigue is real and that’s a worry with Apple getting into the game late. Scott Stein has a good column about this over at CNET. https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/apple-please-i-am-consumed-with-subscription-fatigue/?__twitter_impression=true
    Prove that they are “obsessed” with services. They aren’t. People like you have long complained Apple is too dependent on iphone/hardware sales, so now theyve created an additional line of revenue. These are services, and yes, they do it so they “can charge people” for them. It’s not a charity, duh.

    These new services are optional. You don’t have to buy them, so claims of subscription fatigue are as dumb as claims of retailer fatigue - “OMG so many stores want me to buy clothing! Ugh!”
    cornchip
  • Reply 20 of 31
    "Buffet believes the number of hours viewers can watch content for is limited by how much time there is in the day."

    What a crazy belief.  Where does he get these wacky notions?
    It actually makes a lot of sense.
    chemengin
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