And just like that… Apple has joined the war.
Streaming services have become the battleground of a war for our attention in 2019. Apple’s most recent announcement surrounding the release of AppleTV+ makes it one of the most hotly contested verticals in the world.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, AppleTV+ and smaller combatants like Hulu and Stan make up the current state of play.
Even Apple and Amazon’s streaming service names are indicative of their relentless “Us Too” strategy. Effectively inserting themselves into every vertical known to man.
But does that work for you? You might trust Apple for laptops and your iPhone but do you trust them as a streaming service?
The next 24 months will be an incredible study of the true impact of first mover advantage. Netflix dominates streaming largely because they were the first streaming service to win over the hearts and minds of early adopters.
They increased that lead as they began to dabble in original content and build brand equity as a producer of content as well as a platform.
When I think of Netflix now, I think of their originals. Shows and movies like Queer Eye, Stranger Things, Making a Murderer, Dear White People and all the standup specials. They’ve built an identity on entertainment and binge-worthy content.
Just like Kleenex, Hoover and other brands that have come to be synonymous with their product, Netflix is synonymous with streaming.
You Netflix and Chill, you don’t Hulu and chill or Amazon and chill… Surely that’s case in point! 😏
But it can’t be ignored, Apple fans are addicted. They go where the brand goes and as Apple enters streaming there’s almost no doubt that hoards of their fans will follow.
But how much will this affect Netflix?
I’m not sure. Apple has the resources to beat almost anyone, but if their teaser videos were anything to go by, it just doesn’t feel like their space.
There was a lot of “sort of” feelings in the video. It was “sort of” diverse, it seemed “sort of” authentic, you “sort of” believed it was about storytelling, even though it was “sort of” pretentious. It seemed “sort of” too white and “sort of” suffered from being promoted by a guy who just tried to get Netflix banned from the Oscars.
I think Netflix will survive this onslaught because Apple feels “sort of” like the fossil in the room.
Their indication that AppleTV+ isn’t designed to compete with Netflix seems like a sheer attempt at differentiation. Saying their focus will be on quality over quantity feels elitist and pretentious at the same time.
Netflix’s next challenge however, may be far greater. As Disney pulls its enormous collection of material from streaming services everywhere and enters the market themselves… Look out!
Where other entrants may feel like cash grabs, Disney’s sheer volume of work is brutal evidence that it belongs. While it may be new to the platform game, it’s an alpha in entertainment and the current leaders most dangerous would-be-competitor.
Perhaps what’s most exciting about this war is that you have some control in the outcome. Where do your allegiances lie? Are you team Netflix or team Apple? Or even team Disney or Amazon? But more importantly why? Hope to hear your thoughts in the comments below.