Speaking at The Gatehouse’s Hands Up for Success luncheon, legendary investor Warren Buffett earlier today expressed cautious optimism surrounding Apple’s upcoming foray into the TV business.
In remarks picked up by CNBC, Buffett explained that there are only so many hours in the day that viewers watch TV and that Apple is entering a market already filled with successful players who have established track records when it comes to rolling out compelling content.
“You’ve got some very big players who are going to fight over those eyeballs,” Buffett explained. “You have very smart people with lots of resources trying to figure out how to grab another half hour of your time. I would not want to play in that game myself.”
This is a valid take and a point of view that Apple is presumably well aware of. Indeed, the sheer amount of A-list talent Apple enlisted for Apple TV+ suggests that the company knows it has a lot of ground to make up if it ever wants to complete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Now as to whether or not there’s even room for yet another streaming service, well, that remains to be seen. Truth be told, the success of Apple TV+ may hinge more so on price than anything else. Apple TV+ could very well feature some of the best programming around, but a $15/month subscription fee for a relatively limited range of content likely won’t attract much interest. Somewhat surprisingly, Apple on Monday said it wouldn’t reveal a price point for its new TV subscription service until the fall.
All that aside, Buffett intimated that Apple’s future prospects don’t rest entirely on the success of its nascent TV initiative.
“I’d love to see them succeed, but that’s a company that can afford a mistake or two,” Buffett explained. “You don’t want to buy stock in the company that has to do everything right.”
Broadly speaking, it’s probably wise to give Apple some time before harshly judging their TV efforts. As we pointed out earlier in the week, it took Netflix and Hulu a good 2-years before they started rolling out compelling original content at a rapid clip.