I can’t be the only person who has had the conversation with friends and family to explain the difference between Apple TV + (the streaming service) and Apple TV (the app). Add in Apple TV, (the device,) and you have a bit of a marketing mess.
What exactly is Apple TV +?
Worse, the TV app does little to ease the confusion. Imagine the scenario – users get their new device (iPhone, Mac, etc.) and enthusiastically turn to the app to start watching things like The Morning Show or Defending Jacob they have heard of. They are then confronted with broadcasts from HBO, the BBC and all kinds of other suppliers. Worse, after learning that this Apple streaming service was free, they seem to have to pay for a lot of that content. It takes a little scrolling to find the Apple TV + channel containing the originals. Even I, an Apple follower day after day, took a moment to understand what was happening exactly the first time I tried to watch one of the shows. It really doesn’t make a good first impression.
When it comes to streaming, people are usually used to Netflix. It’s a simple process. You pay for a Netflix subscription. You are looking for a program or a film. If Netflix has the rights to the said show or film, it is immediately available at no additional cost. Amazon Prime Video is a little more murky, I accept, but I think it’s probably a little clearer than Apple’s offer.
Anti-trust concerns and the post-iTunes era
I also understand why, in the post-iTunes era, the TV app can’t just be dedicated to Apple TV +. It is supposed to be a hub for all kinds of video content. Also, I’m sure that after rows on the App Store, Apple should be fully aware of the potential antitrust issues that could arise if it appears to make it too difficult to find content from other providers.
And yet, he chose to call his TV + streaming service and put it in the application with essentially the same name and a host of other content. He chose to have several products with essentially the same name. And the distinction is lost for many users.
Poor UI Holding Apple TV + Back Against Competitors
All this confusion surely holds back the streaming service. Not only does that make a bad first impression, but it reduces its “stickiness” – the times when people stay in the app and switch from show to show like they do with Netflix. While having a much smaller catalog doesn’t help, I also think that a somewhat poorly thought-out user interface contributes to the problem.
[’Visible: Out on Television’ on Apple TV+ is The Kind of Show Only Apple Could Make]
We don’t get a lot of data on Apple TV +. However, we know that it tracks its competitors in terms of number of subscriptions and breakout success. If it is difficult for people to understand right away, they will not bother to stay when there are so many other offers. It’s a shame because a lot of the content on Apple TV + is great.
The joy of most Apple products is that it is obvious to know what they are and how they work. This is not yet the case with Apple TV +.