Established streaming TV services have strong video libraries and relationships, experience and bargaining power. They can ramp up when needed. Apple TV+ doesn’t enjoy that kind of leverage.

Apple TV+ Will Be in a Real Fight

A perfect example of the kind of competitive resources a streaming service can bring to bear is this recent article:

Picard poster

CBS All Access – Star Trek: Picard

This is a great read. Author Keck points out:

CBS’s scrappy streaming service has been steadily beefing up its content offerings, bringing together the best parts of some rival services, including live TV coverage, quality original content, and a catalog of films and series from franchises like Star Trek, Twilight Zone, and The Good Wife/Fight.

The operative phrase here is: “beefing up.” And, CBS All Access isn’t the only service that’s doing that. Disney+ has attracted the attention of (former) movie theater goers with attractive, accelerated offerings like Onward, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, and, soon, Hamilton.

While Apple TV+ has been struggling to immerse us in available content, it’s competitors are rolling out content that had been previously held back — for competitive reasons.

Apple finds itself in a rough and tumble business.

Anyway, back to author Keck who quotes Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President & Head of Programming, CBS All Access.

Expanding CBS All Access’ library of films with these iconic titles from Paramount Pictures is just one of the many ways we’re integrating the phenomenal catalog of IP available to us within the ViacomCBS family

Said so nicely, but trying to drive a stake into the heart of weaker competitors.

And then the ViacomCBS CEO pours it on.

During an earnings statement this week, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said the company was “accelerating our plans for an expanded subscription service,” with “major changes” that build on CBS All Access arriving over the summer.

Great Expectations

When Apple got into this original TV content business, the vibe was that quality, potentially award winning story telling would be the path to success. But now we know there’s more to that. Smart maneuvering by competitors includes special content deals, acquisitions, sports, clever content management, and deliciously timed releases that can affect consumer sentiments and purchase decisions.

How Apple fights back, if it can, will be interesting to watch.

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