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Apple TV+’s content strategy

There are many ways to make a dent in a market with content. By looking at the streaming wars between Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Disney+ and Apple TV+ you can discover different strategies for managing libraries of content.

Launched in the fall of 2019, Apple’s streaming service TV+ has barely made a difference in the overall ecosystem with a less than 3% market share. But what is interesting about this industry, even for brands and broadcasters alike, is how each streaming service is approaching its content library strategy.

 

Managing a content library

As mentioned in an Observer article by Brandon Katz, all the players are investing heavily in producing new and original content. Apple TV+ is at around 6.5B$, Netflix is the leader at 17B$ per year, Amazon Prime invests about 9B$, etc.

Behind that, there is the notion of how they are managing their catalogue. Apple seems to be playing the longer game, by offering only original content, contrary to many of the others that are acquiring rights to dozens of shows to build a larger offering.

This has created a new reality where in the past 5 years (2016-2021), when people are asked what service they consider to be their “default source for TV viewing,” cable (incl. DVR and VOD) went from 66% to 39%, while streaming services (the 6 biggest players) went from 20% to 35%.

 

As you can guess, a seismic shift.

But how are all these numbers also relevant for brands?

Our recommendation: less content is often a good idea

Your strategy needs to dictate how you want to attack the market. Is it through less content, but with well-invested budgets in original and rich content (think Apple TV+), or going the route of more volume, trying to be the destination for snackable, everyday content (think Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc.)?

We’ve been recommending clients to publish less content, to cut through the noise with higher value content assets that can leverage an audience for a longer period of time (which in the end, gives even better results than publishing a lot of snackable, low-budget content), akin to what Apple TV+ is doing.

The questions to ask

To build on what the streaming giants are doing strategically with their library of content, you can ask yourself:

  1. Am I producing too much content?
  2. Is the content I am producing providing enough value to our audience?
  3. Can the budget I invest be “seen” on the screens of our audiences? In other words, is the production value of my content visible when people are reading, watching or listening to it?
  4. Could I produce less content and invest more in each original piece I produce?
  5. Am I trying to build a content library over the long term or do I need results right away?

These are the types of questions we discuss with our clients on a daily basis. Making sure investments are taking the right form, that the audiences they build are strong and position the brand where it wants to be in the market.

Do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to discuss this further with our experts.