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Will Apple ever have a live keynote ever again?

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Maybe yes, maybe no.

There may be the temptation to avoid the pitfalls of live presentations - well-polished sales videos/no risk of demos that don't work.

However, there's also something to be said for getting back to the drama and immediacy of live presentations - the theater audience bursting into applause, the wider viewing audience knowing that the announcements aren't canned. And then there's the face time with the media - the chance for Apple to schmooze and spin the story beyond what is pitched from the stage. The media is not going to show up just to watch a bunch of videos and attend a hands-on session.

My guts say they'll go back to the traditional format. Well-polished videos belong on YouTube channels. Otherwise, at some point people will start thinking, "Why should I arrange my day so I can catch a Keynote that's all pre-recorded? I'll watch it when/if I get around to it." And then they will stop viewing the videos at all, in favor of articles at their favorite tech sites.
 
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Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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There's something special about a performance in front of a live audience. My guess is that Apple will have in-person keynotes when such events are allowed, just like concerts, plays, sports competitions, etc.

In any case, right now it's out of Apple's control. The Santa Clara County public health officer is slow on loosening shelter-in-place restrictions.

Large live events in indoor venues in Santa Clara County will eventually happen but definitely not in 2020 and most likely not in 2021.
 

Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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Note that streaming performances and pre-recorded videos are missing a very important element that live events feature: a captive audience.

Hell, you can witness the opposite in Zoom conferences. People show up late and their attention wanders. Sometimes the Q&A session is full of questions that were fully covered during the regular discussion of the agenda items.

If Apple has a live media event at Jobs Theater at 10 am Pacific Time on ____ Tuesday, the audience members will be in their seats before 10 am. And they won't clipping their toenails during the presentation.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
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In any case, right now it's out of Apple's control. The Santa Clara County public health officer is slow on loosening shelter-in-place restrictions.
...and I'm so happy that Dr. Sara Cody is looking at the science and is charting a conservative course.

I've seen what happened in the southern states with red governors who opened up quickly - and I am content to be in a "slow", blue county.
 

Stella

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Apr 21, 2003
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Corona virus pandemic isn't going to last forever ( maybe a bit longer in the states vs other countries... ). I suspect Apple will go back to having live events, especially keynotes for WWDC.

The Live in person keynotes allows hands-on experience for the attendees which is invaluable for the press coverage.
 
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Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
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I get the feeling Apple will never have a real life keynote with an audience ever again.
I see the pros and cons of each.

Doing pre-recorded keynotes allows Apple to break up a single, larger event into multiple smaller ones. We just had the Apple Watch unveiling a few weeks ago, the iPhone was announced just this week, and the ARM Mac is rumoured to be announced next month.

This allows each event to be more focused, and by spreading them out over a few months, Apple is able to dominate the news cycle by filling it with a steady stream of product releases. In addition, each keynote feels more tight-knit, because the presenter doesn't have to pause every now and then to allow for applause.

This also enables Apple to release each product as they are ready to go. The Apple Watch and iPad Air didn't have to wait for the iPhone.

The downside is that reviewers don't get hands-on time with the products, but Apple could just as easily just send review units out to them.

Personally, it's hard for me to see Apple going back to live keynotes.
 
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Solomani

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Sep 25, 2012
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I get the feeling Apple will never have a real life keynote with an audience ever again.

Well. I felt just as sad when I realized that Macworld Expo will never happen again.

Those were thrilling times.... when I was surrounded by tens of thousands of Apple die-hards in a huge convention center, all dedicated to Apple and Macs. And Steve Jobs keynote was standing room only.
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2014
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I suspect they’ll have audiences again when they can, but I don’t think they’ll ever fully revert to the old format because the new format has been (at least as far as I can tell) generally well-received among the small share of people that actually watches, let alone cares about, Apple events.

Compared to the old format where mostly everything was presented live on stage, I’d expect much more of the content of hypothetical in-person Apple events in the future to be effectively just collective viewings of prerecorded videos — with controlled applause from employees in the audience just like before.
 

211

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Feb 27, 2020
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I actually like the pre-recorded keynotes. I'm sure the people at Apple like the instant gratification shown by the audience and vice versa, but as a viewer I like that time isn't wasted with clapping and the presentation is very polished. Maybe Apple will do both in future; an audience for a major product launch and pre-recorded for minor ones.
 
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Joshel

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Oct 18, 2020
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I actually like the pre-recorded keynotes. I'm sure the people at Apple like the instant gratification shown by the audience and vice versa, but as a viewer I like that time isn't wasted with clapping and the presentation is very polished. Maybe Apple will do both in future; an audience for a major product launch and pre-recorded for minor ones.
Yeah, I think this is exactly what's going to happen. However, I prefer live events; because for me, this is not just a presentation of a new technology, it's more of a show and I love how they keep the intrigue, interact with the audience, and of course the reaction of people is one of the main reasons why I love these events.
 

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
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We get used to things. While you could say we will go back to 'normal', what exactly is normal anymore?

With cost drives everything anyway who knows

I actually like the pre-recorded keynotes. I'm sure the people at Apple like the instant gratification shown by the audience and vice versa, but as a viewer I like that time isn't wasted with clapping and the presentation is very polished. Maybe Apple will do both in future; an audience for a major product launch and pre-recorded for minor ones.


Sometimes just having a audience is better. Otherwise, you get the feeling something is 'a-miss' It may not feel the same ? My viewing of online only has gone downhill i don't even bother watching anymore. It coud be due to this, i dunno. But something has defiantly changed.
 
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