Apple's CODA bump

From Todd Spangler's "‘CODA’ Oscar Win Boosted Apple TV Plus New Viewers by 25%" posted Thursday in Variety:

What’s the value of winning an Oscar? For Apple, the historic Oscar best picture win for original film “CODA” on Sunday has produced immediate results — drawing 25% new viewers to the Apple TV Plusstreaming service, and pushing viewing of the film up more than 300% compared with the week prior.

Apple’s Academy Award-winning film “CODA” beat Netflix to grab the crown as having the first film on a streaming service win the top Oscar prize. It’s also the first movie starring a predominantly Deaf cast in leading roles to win an Oscar for best picture.

Of course, the numbers about “CODA’s” performance on Apple TV Plus, provided by a source close to the tech company, don’t reveal all that much. Apple has never disclosed how many subscribers it has for Apple TV Plus, so it’s unclear what the 25% increase in new viewers indicates in terms of real numbers. Apple also hasn’t provided granular data on time spent streaming its content.

More important, there’s the question of whether the surge of new Apple TV Plus viewers will remain with the service for a meaningful period of time — or if they were just signing on to see “CODA” before they cancel. Apple offers a free seven-day trial of Apple TV Plus (which costs $4.99/month), and it gives away three months for free to customers who purchase new products like iPhones or Apple TV 4K boxes.

My take: Some of those free trials will convert. If not this time, the next.

11 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    But if Apple spent $10m to win the Oscar, it will take A Lot of those people to convert to pay off that expense… (The idea that you pay $10m to campaign for an Oscar pretty much invalidates the whole value of that award for me.)

    0
    April 3, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      David: In my view, as a former entertainment industry executive, the $10 million promotional spend was a comparatively small expense. To qualify for Oscar consideration, CODA had to be made available at a theater in the LA area before the end of last year. Combined with the need to garner the attention of nearly 10,000 voting members of the Academy for a movie that had a very short and limited run in theaters and nothing near the box office promotion and marketing promotion of bigger budget films, it was not a big spend to gain industry awareness. In fact, I’m surprised the promotional spend wasn’t larger. It was obviously money well spent to gain the attention of voting members of the Academy. The movie won the award based on its merits and not the comparatively small amount investing in promotion. From acquisition to promotion, Apple invested only a fraction of what the company is reportedly paying out for Project Artemis, starring Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans.

      6
      April 3, 2022
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. Apple has never disclosed how many subscribers it has for Apple TV Plus, ….”.

    I do hope that Apple continues never disclosing the number of its Apple TV Plus subscribers. Avoiding doing so negates WS and others viewing Apple TV+ as some sort of stand-alone subscription streaming provider when instead it is more of an Apple service provided for Apple users and consumers of Apple’s multiplicity of services.

    7
    April 3, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Jerry: I agree. Why compete in a horse race that doesn’t exist. In my view, the value of Apple TV+ is the way it enhances the relationship the company creates with its customers as a component of a robust collection of services. Customers invest in Apple products and services while Apple invests in the customer relationship by providing the highest quality products and services possible. It’s a truly symbiotic relationship. Apple customers are people, not numbers.

      2
      April 3, 2022
      • Bart Yee said:
        @ Jerry and Robert
        Here, here, agree with not discussing unit widget sales and segment subscribers, all it does is add widget counting as some means for Wall Street analysts to complain about how the quarterly ups and downs means Apple is doomed. Cook and Maestri have TOLD Wall Street to concentrate on revenues per segments and geographic locations as the best means to evaluate where Apple is performing and heading. Cook TOLD Wall Street that Apple was building out Services and adding new Services lines as more and more value to Apple’s ecosystem and its users. (Luca also told WS that Services margin was growing, but it took WS years to take it seriously.)

        IMO, Wall Street can keep twisting in the wind about unit sales (much like Android crows about numeric widget sales and market share superiority) and ever discounting the “incremental” additions that Watch, AirPods, AirTags, M1, iPads, etc. added to hardware revenues ($32.8B, 26.5% of total Q1 revenue) and Services ($19.5B, 15.7% of total Q1 revenue). That’s a combined revenue of over $52 Billion, 83% of total revenues of Samsung Electronics, 113% of MSFT’s revenues, 69% of Google/Alphabet’s total.

        It’s not chicken feed!

        3
        April 4, 2022
  3. Michael Goldfeder said:
    While we know Tim Sweeney has an iPhone, is he a subscriber to Apple TV+? Probably not Apple Arcade.

    3
    April 3, 2022
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      Michael: I’m sure there are people at both Epic and Tencent watching the development of Apple Arcade. It uses a much different monetization model for developers through collaboration. If I were a big game developer that monetizes via purchase price, in-app purchases or a combination of the two, I’d be really concerned if Apple Arcade achieved mass appeal. Similar to Apple TV+, a couple of really successful titles launched on Apple Arcade could begin to change the industry dynamic and the relationship between developer and distributor. The fact that Apple makes the best digital devices for consumers on the planet and games can be developed specifically for Apple hardware specs and Apple Arcade, I’d start looking over my shoulder if I were a 3rd-party game developer. This doesn’t mean they are hearing footsteps behind them now, but those footsteps might get louder and seem so much closer over the next few years. For Apple Arcade there’s no such thing as slide loading and there’s no issue on payment systems.

      2
      April 3, 2022
      • Michael Goldfeder said:
        @Robert: All good points. I’m not a gamer but does Apple provide games on the Arcade platform that aren’t all blood and gore? My nonexistent knowledge of video games is derived from watching some kids of several friends always busy with games that are involved with blowing up stuff, killing people, and other forms of video destruction.

        0
        April 3, 2022
        • Robert Paul Leitao said:
          Michael: Yes. There are games of interest on Apple Arcade for all members of a household. Many wireless game controllers will also work with Apple TV. Please visit https://www.apple.com/apple-arcade/ for more information.

          0
          April 3, 2022

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