Let’s get right to it — I thought yesterday’s Apple event was a monumental success. Yes, it was light on some details like pricing and availability, but why would that stop Apple from hosting an event to announce these incredibly important new initiatives? Why let terrible tech reporters continue to spew hot takes when Apple can take control of the narrative?
And now what are we talking about after the event, how bad Apple’s original shows are going to be, and how Goldman Sachs is evil? Or are we talking about that incredible new Apple credit card is with zero fees and a cool interface, an effortless way to subscribe to and consume some of the best magazines while supporting great journalism, and the fact that we will finally be getting a modern, gorgeous interface to enjoy TV and movies that will free us from our cable provider?
Apple did what the company needed to do and it was a resounding success. In a celebrity-packed event at the Steve Jobs Theater, we saw once again how, unlike almost any other company, Apple has this unique ability to understand market trends and ultimately create these transformative and sticky vessels that connect consumers. What other company goes to these incredible lengths of curation or purpose, for instance?
People either intentionally overlook or just don’t notice how incredible it is for a company of this magnitude to almost always appear connected to consumer trends and opinion. You don’t feel like Apple is this big monolithic behemoth that isn’t trusted and only has its corporate interest at heart. It does, obviously, but it just happens that Apple’s entire existence throughout the company’s history has been more aligned with what people care about and in turn, their relationships with Apple. And that hasn’t changed. In fact, it hasn’t ever been stronger.
Your time is valuable. Your experience with devices and services should be effortless and delightful. Your relationship is important. Your information is your information. Your privacy is paramount. What other company in the world operates this way, by accident or by design, aside from Apple? It certainly seems strange that the world’s largest company might be the one that’s actually looking out for you, but that’s the reality right now.
Apple TV+ is not just the start of a long-term video effort, it’s Apple blasting a hole through the entire film and TV industry that should continue to erode the theater business, and further consumers’ connection with and affinity for the Apple brand. Please don’t underestimate how much people are willing to pay for a better experience.
Have you ever bought a movie on iTunes for an outrageous price of $19.99 only because it wasn’t available to rent for another week or two and you wanted to watch it now? How many times did you watch that movie, which you now own, after you watched it that first time? Do you even care? Do you stay up all night sleeplessly regretting paying an additional $15 for it?
People want to feel that there’s value when they spend their money. Curation and scarcity help fuel that, and man, Apple’s on fire.
Something that has continually come up in conversations I have had with people familiar with Apple’s strategy, is just how much Apple cares about various industries. Truly. Whether that’s TV, movies, or music, it’s very clear to me that Apple has felt great responsibility to respect and invest in these industries, and in these creators, because what’s good for the creators is good for Apple. This is why Apple is the only company that isn’t fighting a 44% copyright fee increase for songwriters.
This is one reason Tim Cook tweets every time there’s a tragedy. Apple has this incredibly large corporate voice that can be used for good. Actual good. And sometimes it feels like the largest company in the world is looking out for consumers and creators more than some of our own governments are. To actually help make the world better. To leave the world a better place. Why have we stopped giving Apple the benefit of the doubt when all the company has done is invest in making things better? We’re going to have an iPhone that’s so recyclable at some point that Apple won’t need to even mine the earth for new materials. It’ll just recycle the old ones.
What? Who else is doing that?
For some reason, some people think of Apple as this one-trick pony that ended up getting lucky every 3-4 years for the past 25 years. Those ponies are now thoroughbreds, and they are about to win The Kentucky Derby.
Let’s think this through — why would most consumers in Apple’s ecosystem continue to choose to pay their cable television provider for channels they don’t need and don’t watch? I very much believe Apple truly has “finally cracked” TV with the new Apple TV Channels feature and wireframe for a TV subscription service.
Apple’s frictionless ecosystem is certainly worth a lot, too. Consuming existing content that you love plus compelling original content from Apple, across all of your devices — TV, iPhone, iPad, and Mac — in one centralized location, is something that no other service can match at this point in time, and I wouldn’t expect that to change soon. I still use a TiVo because I hate my cable company’s DVR, and there’s actually a physical fan in the TiVo in my bedroom that I can hear through the console cabinet. It drives me insane. But because the user experience is slightly better, it makes me a tiny bit happier. I really feel like that anecdote encapsulates yesterday’s event very accurately.
There’s so much noise and distraction around us that we deeply value the good guy. Something that makes things easier, more enjoyable. That’s Apple’s entire business strategy, and it hasn’t changed whatsoever just because the company has charted a course with more of a focus on subscription models.
Apple doesn’t need to kill Netflix. Apple doesn’t need to crush J.P. Morgan. Apple doesn’t need to assassinate Xbox — but it most likely will based on the level of execution I’m seeing from the company.