Vulture: Apple TV+ is set to take off the training wheels

From Josef Adalian’s “It’s About to Get Real for Apple TV+” posted Friday by New York Magazine:

Earlier this week, Apple quietly confirmed it was changing the terms of its free trial. On its website, the company is now telling consumers that as of July 1, buying a new Apple device will only entitle them to three months of TV+ gratis, rather than a whole year. What’s more, the millions of TV+ users who’ve been freeloading off of Tim Cook’s benevolence for so long — like me — will apparently not get another reprieve when those original 2019 free trials run out next month. Apple hasn’t officially said anything, but given how much advance notice the company gave before those previous extensions, it is looking like they won’t be doing so again. If that happens, consumers will finally be forced to decide whether TV+ merits its sticker price of $5 per month…

While some analysts scoffed at the extra-long trial period, I think it demonstrated (again) Apple’s willingness to sacrifice short-term revenue for a longer-term play. Fact is, every other major streamer (and most cable networks) built their subscriber base on the back of library shows, and then expanded through originals. Apple knew it couldn’t expect many people to pay for just a handful of unproven titles, so it wisely decided to basically give the service away for free while it let audiences get acclimated to its offering…

As one top agent told me a few weeks ago as I was doing research for another story, “They have all the money in the world, and they spend it to make good stuff. They’re fulfilling their side of the bargain.” With the extended trials about to end, Apple is about to find out if audiences agree.

My take: In addition to all the money in the world, Apple also has more patience than your average Hollywood mogul.


  1. Fred Stein said:
    Apple has one more advantage, less ego.

    As Tim said, “I have the hide of a rhinoceros.”

    June 18, 2021
  2. Bob Goldstein said:
    I have been watching Apple TV+ from the beginning and have seen many good shows and some good movies. It is easily worth $5 a month. I looks like now they are adding a lot of content and it may be soon worth more than $5 a month. If you have the proper system almost all the content is in Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision

    June 18, 2021
  3. Steven Philips said:
    I’m just not a TV person. Most of their highly touted shows haven’t appealed to me. Some I found positively awful.
    I can say the same for Amazon – though it does have a large back catalog of old movies.
    And I do like shows like Home Before Dark (thankfully renewed) and movies like The Banker enough that – all things considered – I’ll keep subscribing.
    No Netflix for me. But I may re-subscribe to The Criterion Collection.

    June 18, 2021
  4. bas flik said:
    i prefer more dividend over tv+. is not really profitable business. a lot of money is being wasted. better focus on health.

    June 19, 2021
  5. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Apple isn’t approaching Apple TV+ so much as an isolated content service. The company is approaching Apple TV+ as an attractive component of Apple One. While there may be some consumers who prefer the “a la carte” approach to Apple subscription services, Apple’s greater interest is best served through subscriptions to Apple One. I don’t view it as an extended “free trial” of Apple TV+. I consider it a $5 rebate per month on my Apple One subscription. With or without the temporary rebate, I consider Apple One an excellent value for the monthly cost.

    June 19, 2021

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