Early last year, if you’d asked which platforms were going to win the streaming wars, you’d hear a dozen different answers depending on whom you spoke with. But it’s likely that a popular prediction would have been Apple TV+.
After all, Apple has dominated many of the arenas it’s competed in, so why wouldn’t they also start putting out the most popular streaming content?
You may also receive a dozen answers to that, but the facts on the ground are Apple is looking to spend $6 billion on original content and yet, after their November debut, they have not made a splash or even much of a ripple.
That is not the official line from Apple, who are claiming that they are very happy with where they are right now, but there aren’t many metrics that are bolstering the argument. Google Trends show declining interest, there has been no viral breakout show and one estimate puts the number of subscribers at about 10 million. If that sounds like a lot, it’s not.
For example, according to this article, there are already 10 million subscribers for HBO Max, which has just debuted. Hulu has three times that amount and Netflix has a seemingly unbeatable 182 million subscriptions.
To make things even worse, this paltry amount of subscribers are almost exclusively those who got an annual subscription for free (by purchasing an Apple product). So what happens when those subscribers start being charged the (albeit relatively reasonable) $4.99 per month?
At that price point, making it even cheaper may not be a successful option. And “too little money” is clearly not a stumbling block. So aside from some inspired marketing, how can Apple TV+ keep its head above water?
The company probably needs to buy old content and figure out what people really want from new content. And AI can help with both.
Without a library to optimize, Apple is not able to trawl through their archives, but they could use AI to break down what elements of their current programming are resonating with viewers. By doing this, they can get a much better handle on what in these shows is truly resonating with the viewer. This can give them a far better understanding of what kind of existing content they could license that would have broader appeal. While Apple clearly has the cash to buy up anything, with so much premium content already being taken by the other big streamers it may come down to AI to help them find the true cult classics and other diamonds in the rough.
But, more importantly, Apple can use AI to improve their original content, both using it to decide which shows should be renewed (and which have run their course), what new content to produce and how to maintain the success of their best programs.
By using AI to both break down the elements of their content, and to track the second-by-second behaviors of viewers, Apple would be able to know exactly what is drawing in their current audience. This is not only the best way to retain that audience, but by creating a better experience every time subscribers watch something new, this is how breakout hits are made and subscription numbers are increased.
2020 has made it clear that there is no way to predict what is going to happen next, and Apple TV+ may very well have some incredible tricks up their sleeve to start showing up the competition. But when it comes to gaining that edge today, Resonance AI is the easiest, and most effective, way to fight the streaming war.