Just one week after the launch of TV+, Apple’s much-anticipated streaming service, the company publicly announced that the remaining three of its four marquee launch shows (SEE, For All Mankind, and Dickinson) had been renewed for second seasons. The fourth, The Morning Show, had already been slated to run for two seasons. Apple executives were apparently “thrilled” with the launch, while critics and consumers seemed to have mixed reactions to both the content and the user interface. One thing is for certain though: Apple TV+ was an atypical launch for a company known for blockbuster product launches.
Among the slew of new services and products Apple unveiled at its event this week was a deceptively tiny announcement: For anyone buying a new iPhone or iPad, Apple will throw in a year of free Apple TV+, its forthcoming subscription TV service.
I like free things, and part of me was elated by this news. But at the same time, Apple’s plan to bundle a trial of its television service with its hardware heightened a fear that has been bothering me for a while: Could Apple’s power be dangerous for the tech and media industries?
I was thrilled when Apple first introduced single sign-on for cable channels in its Apple TV app. Finally, I could access content from services like HBO, Showtime, and NBC through my Apple TV after linking it to my cable provider — no more signing into different apps!
Except it didn’t work out that way.
Whenever a channel app updates, I have to go through the authentication routine again, which means I need that damn authentication code. You know the one: the special code that you can only get by visiting a cable channel’s website — usually via a desktop computer…
We used to wonder if Apple would make an actual TV set. Instead, it became a TV studio. Before Netflix, Apple would have seemed like an unlikely content creation house. Back in 2013, Tim Cook told journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, “We never felt we needed to own content. We need access to great content… We don’t have the skill to produce and direct.”
That has clearly changed. Apple has hired major talent to produce, direct, and star in a cluster of original programs. On Monday, the company held its equivalent of the network upfronts in, naturally, the Steve…
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