After a slow start to life as a streaming platform, Apple TV+ has gone from strength to strength. In a world of dwindling Netflix memberships, Apple managed to increase its subscriber count by 25% in the wake of CODA winning the Best Picture Oscar.
But Apple’s reluctance to license existing shows and movies – instead focusing solely on original content – can make its relatively svelte library a hard sell against giants like Disney+ who offer a huge back catalog of successful franchises.
By dipping its toe into sports coverage with a handful of MLB games, Apple may be signaling its desire to expand into a market that its direct streaming rivals don’t cater for. DirecTV’s NFL partnership expires after this season, and Apple TV+ looks the favorite to take over – at an estimated cost of around $2.5 billion.
How TV+ will play that in terms of its membership tiers is anyone’s guess, but with sports coverage from other networks costing users a pretty penny, it could be a chance for Apple to swoop in with pricing strategy that brings in a wave of new subscribers to its ecosystem.