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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

What’s the ultimate Apple TV+ goal?

Natalie Jarvey and Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter have an analysis of Apple’s TV+ announcements Tuesday:

Despite its low price — which includes access for up to six family members — Apple’s biggest challenge may be in convincing users that it has enough content to justify a subscription, even if the first year is free. While the iPhone maker has been competitive, shelling out billions for originals from top producers and casting them with a roster of A-listers, TV insiders say Apple is relying on its known brand rather than the appeal of any one star or show to help drive sign-ups. “This is trading on Apple’s good name,” says one veteran executive. “The thinking is that you already have a phone and you already like them, so you’ll pay the $4.99.”

I’m sure Apple’s long-term plan is for Apple TV+ to be a revenue generator, but the move to offer everyone with new Apple hardware a year for free suggests that Apple is willing to be patient and spend time getting its users accustomed to the service before trying to convert some percentage to paying.

It’s accurate, though, to say that Apple TV+ is more like Prime Video than its other competitors, because it’s a video-streaming service that is part of something larger. In Amazon’s case, it’s the entire Prime ecosystem; in Apple’s case, it’s the Apple ecosystem of devices and services. Neither company needs to make decisions based solely on the health of the streaming service—it’s a much larger, messier, more complicated approach.