Quote from Steve Jobs why Apple TV+ won't work

newtito

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 6, 2006
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I was re-reading Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs book and came across this quote from Steve Jobs:
"On the other hand, music companies are completely clueless about technology. They think they can just go out and hire a few tech folks. But that would be like Apple trying to hire people to produce music. We'd get second-rate A&R people, just like the music companies ended up with second-rate tech people" Do you think this applies to video? What is Apple doing with TV+ but this very thing - hiring people to produce tv shows and movies?
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
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California
I was re-reading Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs book and came across this quote from Steve Jobs:
"On the other hand, music companies are completely clueless about technology. They think they can just go out and hire a few tech folks. But that would be like Apple trying to hire people to produce music. We'd get second-rate A&R people, just like the music companies ended up with second-rate tech people" Do you think this applies to video? What is Apple doing with TV+ but this very thing - hiring people to produce tv shows and movies?
Yeah, but by all accounts these aren’t second-rate people.
 

vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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I guess it depends on how you define "won't work".

If you define it as being financially successful, I suspect that you are correct.

It seems like Apple has been spending crazy amounts on advertising ATV+. Over the past few months, I have seen way more ATV+ ads than ATV ads over its 13 year run.

All for a service that probably is not bringing in that much revenue since most users probably get ATV+ without paying for a sub.
 

dwfaust

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2011
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I guess it depends on how you define "won't work".

If you define it as being financially successful, I suspect that you are correct.

It seems like Apple has been spending crazy amounts on advertising ATV+. Over the past few months, I have seen way more ATV+ ads than ATV ads over its 13 year run.

All for a service that probably is not bringing in that much revenue since most users probably get ATV+ without paying for a sub.
Of course, very few people are paying for the ATV+ service at this point... the majority of those even participating in this are those with a free year's subscription as a perk from buying an Apple product.

Actually, Apple's launch/rollout strategy is brilliant. They launched a service with a limited number of shows amid all the hype... and gave the first year access away for free with the purchase of Apple hardware ... then, during the first year of essentially free access, Apple continues to build a catalog of shows. By the time the year of free access ends, Apple will have a pretty decent catalog to keep existing viewers and lure new watchers. Add to that the rumors about Apple talking with MGM about an acquisition, the catalog could expand in a significant way very soon.
 
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vertical smile

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Sep 23, 2014
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Actually, Apple's launch/rollout strategy is brilliant.
In previous thread I have mentioned that bundling the ATV+ sub with the purchase of Apple devices was a good idea, but I wouldn’t use brilliant because of the alternatives most likely would not work as well. There was plenty of people suggesting Apple do this way prior to the launch of ATV+, as it was an obvious way to get many people access to a service that most wouldn’t pay a subscription to.

If Apple would have launched ATV+ in a traditional paid-sub way, it probably would have been DoA on many different levels, financial and popular, to name a few.


So, getting back to the OP's question, there has to be a definition of what is meant by "won't work".

If you mean financial success, then I would say that the ATV+ fails at this, imo. I don't have any number associated and can just make educated guesses, but it looks like the production and advertising of the ATV+ platform and shows is costing a crap load of money. I can also guess that there isn't much revenue in paid subs. So, ATV+ is most likely losing money, a lot.

Even if the free ATV+ sub gets some people to purchase an Apple device over a competitor, it probably wouldn't even come close to making up for the cost to Apple for the ATV+ service.

But, if "won't work" is defined by that the ATV+ won't be a critical success, or that it won't be a popular service, that is asking a totally different question.
 

barnetty

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2011
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I was re-reading Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs book and came across this quote from Steve Jobs:
"On the other hand, music companies are completely clueless about technology. They think they can just go out and hire a few tech folks. But that would be like Apple trying to hire people to produce music. We'd get second-rate A&R people, just like the music companies ended up with second-rate tech people" Do you think this applies to video? What is Apple doing with TV+ but this very thing - hiring people to produce tv shows and movies?
True but not the same... back then the netflix model did not exist...now it does and has proved succesful as the subscription service pays for the production of the content. This is also the old HBO model that has been succesful...

hire top level directors, producers, screen writers and give them free reign over they show and content without fear of having to respond to advertisers this actually allows the creators to produce as originally intended giving us great content.

Sure some stuff is hit and miss but you have a higher hit rate than having "studio execs" telling comedy writers if their stuff is funny or not.

The music industry in turn is still mostly managed by the old model of A&R people choosing what fits the format so music quality is getting worse and worse at least regarding top 40 radio.
 

Daniel James

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2019
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I was re-reading Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs book and came across this quote from Steve Jobs:
"On the other hand, music companies are completely clueless about technology. They think they can just go out and hire a few tech folks. But that would be like Apple trying to hire people to produce music. We'd get second-rate A&R people, just like the music companies ended up with second-rate tech people" Do you think this applies to video? What is Apple doing with TV+ but this very thing - hiring people to produce tv shows and movies?
You can legitimately argue this is what Apple is doing with TV+ but I’d argue that even just in the Morning Show I’ve seen some very well known faces grace the screen. Far from second rate.

Besides, we live in a era long since Steve Jobs probably said this. An era where ‘[streaming service] original’ is an all too common thing.

Netflix produces a metric &£@* tonne of original programming and whilst it may make a few rubbish shows and films, it gets a couple which become smash hits.

You won’t get everything right, but you only need to get one thing right for something to take off. I believe TV+ could rival Netflix or Prime IF it’s done properly and matures over time.
 
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