It’s been nearly four years since Apple TV+ arrived. The streaming service launched with a few original shows and was part of a broader initiative by Apple to focus on services. As its main revenue source, the company knew that it couldn’t rely on the iPhone to keep it afloat for another decade – and services could be the answer.
Apple went on to improve and release several services in the years that followed, from iCloud+ to Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, News+, Fitness+, and financial initiatives. While Apple TV+ was initially free for just about anyone for a year, a lot has changed since 2019, and the company now bets on the service as part of the Apple One bundle or as a trial for anyone that buys a new Apple product and hasn’t tried the streaming service just yet.
Apple TV+ shows are often highly-rated by the public, and the service is full of award-winning content. The service grew thanks to The Morning Show, Ted Lasso, Severance, CODA, and many other originals. But even though I’ve been an Apple TV+ subscriber since day one, I’m noticing Apple is moving to a strategy more like Amazon’s – and I don’t like it.
If you want to watch The Office on Amazon Prime Video, you have to watch a teaser for another Prime Video show first. In addition, Prime Video might show a recap of the previous episode, and you might need to skip the intro as well. I don’t like having to click several times on the remote before I can finally watch what I want.
Over the years, and with its most important shows, such as Ted Lasso, For All the Mankind, and Foundation, I noticed that Apple is charting the same path. For example, when I try to watch the latest episode of Foundation, I have to skip a commercial for another show Apple is promoting, the podcast about the new season of Foundation, the recap of the previous episode, and the opening theme. Wow.
I already receive a notification that a new episode is available on Apple TV+, the TV app interface shows me the latest content Apple wants to promote, and if I want to learn more about a show or movie, once again, the TV app has all the information I need. So why bother me when I’m just trying to watch the latest episode of a show I waited two years for?
Apple can keep promoting TV+ on social media, with content creators, in its newsroom, or even in digital out-of-home experiences, but forcing me to watch a string of trailers, ads, and recaps before the episode starts is just annoying.
It won’t make me cancel my subscription. But eventually, I’d rather watch the last episode of And Just Like That… on Max or a new episode of Stranger Things on Netflix than prioritize the next big thing available on Apple TV+ because I don’t want to get interrupted by the company promoting another show I’m probably not even interested in.