Having launched on November 1, 2019, the first wave of Apple TV+ subscriptions come up for renewal in early November. Apple’s strategy for igniting Apple TV+ means taking steps to make sure those, and all, subscriptions get converted from free to paid.
Brainstorms for Igniting Apple TV+
I can just imagine an early summer 2020 meeting at Apple with Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and others. Cook might have asked, “Are we just going to let nature take its course when it come to converting these free to paid subscriptions? Or what?”
And so someone jumps up to the white board and starts writing brainstormed ideas. Here’s what it seems the executives settled on.
Theatrical releases. With movie theaters closed, approach certain friendly studios to do a major film release on Apple TV+. Apple did this with Sony Pictures and Greyhound. It worked out really well. Expect more like this, and Apple TV+, despite great subscription fatigue, will become a must have.
Strong content. Apple TV+ just keeps gaining quality content. While the quantity may not have measured up at launch last November, it now contains so much quality content that no one can watch all of it anymore. That kind of “overage” is key to the estimation of value.
And I suspect some really strong offerings are being held back for a mid-October PR blitz.
Plus, Apple is slowly earning a reputation for kid-friendly offerings like ghostwriter, Snoopy in Space, Here We Are and Fraggle Rock. The selection may not be a clincher against Disney+, but it can sway a subscriber who’s on the fence.
Internal bundling. Apple can construct bundles of its current services so as to make paying for Apple TV+ the path of least resistance. See: “Ready Apple One – Services Bundles To Launch in Coming Weeks.” Customers like money-saving bundles, and properly pricing access to both Apple Music and TV+ could help energize subscriptions to Apple’s TV streaming service.
Contingency bundling. Making other, attractive bundles contingent on an Apple TV+ subscription is another way to entice and retain. Apple just did that with a CBS All Access and Showtime bundle. See: “Apple TV+ to Offer CBS All Access, Showtime, Bundle.” This is a strong technique, it benefits all the players and has no cynical downside to annoy customers. It’s actually quite brilliant—assuming Apple still can still profit after reimbursing SHOWTIME.
All in all, it’s clear that Apple isn’t going to let hope be its strategy when comes to converting free Apple TV+ subscriptions to paid.