appletv plus

During a presentation today, Apple unveiled a first look at their new streaming service, AppleTV+. For months, rumors have swirled that Apple was hoping to get a leg up on Netflix and take control of the streaming world. If that really is their goal, they have a long way to go. While the quick flashes of footage we got to see were slick, stylish and incredibly cinematic, details were downright anemic. So how will AppleTV+ stack up against other services? The one big thing it has going for it is an impressive lineup of talent. But is that enough?

The above video is emotional and rousing, featuring an incredible group of creators offering up powerful speeches about the nature of storytelling. Sounds great, right? But what about the programs on AppleTV+ themselves? How will they achieve the masterful storytelling everyone is talking about here?

I really don’t know. After sitting through the entire Apple presentation today, I came away with one real thought: if I were Netflix, I’d be feeling fine right now. To be clear: nothing that’s part of AppleTV+ looks bad. In fact, the footage we saw looked more polished and cinematic than any original show on Amazon Prime. But there wasn’t much of a spark. There was no wow factor. Perhaps Apple jumped the gun – the service itself won’t be available till the fall.

There are pros: the service will be ad free; it will be available on the AppleTV app, and all Apple devices; and perhaps best of all, everything will be available to download and watch offline. But so much was left unsaid – we don’t even know the pricing. Of the shows announced, only two seemed genuinely interesting – the Steven Spielberg-produced Amazing Stories reboot, and Little America, a show from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Spielberg’s presence was particularly noteworthy, since the last few months have focused on the famed filmmaker’s disdain for streaming – even though we’ve known he’s been involved with Apple since last year. Perhaps the presence of Spielberg, and others, is ultimately Apple’s secret weapon.

Look at that lineup of names. That’s mighty impressive. Netflix and Amazon both have highly talented folks working on their originals, too – but to be able to boast Steven Spielberg, Damien Chazelle, Sofia Coppola and many more as part of your creative team goes a very long way. But it’s one thing to throw a list of names up on a screen. It’s another to excite an audience. The bottom line of Apple’s presentation was a play for convenience – everything you might want, all in one place, at the push of a button. But what if the original programming isn’t what we want? What if Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and the impending Disney+ are far more exciting? Apple’s streaming service might end up being a bust. But don’t worry too much about Apple, I think they’ve got some money stored away for a rainy day.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: