“The advent of streaming platforms has demanded a critical look at how major companies will seek to strong-arm consumers into buying their products”

For decades, ABC aired A Charlie Brown Christmas each holiday season. But starting this year, the Peanuts special will instead stream exclusively on Apple TV+. Joshua N. Miller explores the significance of this move in an essay on Debugger.

“If Apple is bold enough to think it can make a profit by privatizing such a publicly recognized character like Charlie Brown,” he writes, “rival companies may proceed to make their own plans to ensure that consumers are spending the holidays on their respective platforms as well.”

All that is holding these companies back from strong-arming customers with exclusive access to their favorite iconic content, he writes, are syndication contracts that will eventually expire. And while no classic is safe from these land grabs, Apple’s exclusive on Charlie Brown is perhaps particularly stinging — the moral of the Christmas story, after all, is to find joy in community instead of capitalist norms.

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