by Jason Snell
Questions about Apple and its TV+ marketing
My Downstream co-host Julia Alexander, writing for Puck News (subscription required) about the launch of the Apple TV+ series “Black Bird”:
Anecdotally, as someone who talks to a lot of executives in the industry, conversations about “Black Bird” all go a similar way. First, they agree, it’s great. Next comes the shared observation that they hadn’t known anything about the show at all…. Maybe it’s because Apple is used to a keynote presentation creating all the press the company needs—just wait until the next iPhone announcement likely happening this September—but entertainment marketing is different from tech product marketing.
…I was told there were concerns among producers about Apple’s commitment to marketing its shows—to the point that at least one explored hiring outside marketing gurus on their own personal dime to ensure the show got proper support…
As a former studio executive and I spoke more about their frustrations, they noted the obvious irony. Apple, worth a staggering $2.6 trillion, is the world’s most innovative product and marketing company. It seemed strange that this competency had yet to make it to the content group.
Marketing during the era of peak TV is hard, but as someone who lives dead center in Apple’s ecosystem, I hadn’t even heard about “Black Bird” until last week, when Tim Cook mentioned it on the analyst call and I saw an extended trailer for it on last week’s “Friday Night Baseball.”
It is interesting that Apple, a master of product marketing, is perceived as struggling when it comes to promoting its entertainment shows.