Original Content podcast: Apple’s star-studded ‘Morning Show’ gets off to a bumpy-but-promising start

  • Post category:Apple TV+

We weren’t sure what to expect from the launch of Apple’s new subscription streaming service. There were reports that the company was committed to staying family friendly, rather than exploring the adult content and creative liberties that both premium cable and streaming can offer. Plus, most of the trailers were pretty underwhelming.

For our 100th (!) episode, your regular Original Content podcast hosts are joined by TechCrunch writer Sarah Perez to discuss all the Apple TV+ shows we’ve sampled so far — “For All Mankind,” “See,” “Dickinson” and even “Snoopy in Space.” And we were pleasantly surprised by what we found.

Just a few episodes in, “For All Mankind” (an alternate history in which the Soviet Union won the race to the moon) and “See” (set in a world where everyone has lost the sense of sight) have turned some of us into fans. And even “Dickinson” — which has the seemingly impossible task of telling Emily Dickinson’s story using modern slang— turns out to be a strange and watchable experiment.

We save our most extensive discussion for the most high-profile title of the bunch: “The Morning Show,” which stars Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy, longtime host of an AM news show also called “The Morning Show,” and Reese Witherspoon as local news anchor Bradley Jackson, whose confrontation at a coal mine protest ends up going viral right as Alex’s show implodes, thanks to sexual misconduct allegations against her longtime co-host Mitch Kessler (played Steve Carell).

Obviously, the show has star power, and the leads are supported by talented and familiar faces like Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

The performances are all strong, with Aniston and Witherspoon carrying the show: Aniston convincingly portrays a woman who’s both devastated by the revelations of her on-screen partner’s behavior and desperate to seize the opportunity that these revelations create. Witherspoon, meanwhile, adds complex shading to perhaps her trademark role as a spunky, ambitious upstart.

The writing, on the other hand, is a bit uneven. There’s an unfortunate tendency towards speechifying about big themes like The Role of Journalism in America — at times, it feels almost Sorkin-esque, but without the eloquence or snappiness of Aaron Sorkin’s best dialogue.

So far, though, the speeches have been balanced out by strong characterization and some satisfyingly dramatic twists.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:30 Apple TV+ roundup
27:02 “The Morning Show” review (spoiler-free)

Source: techcrunch.com

Continue Reading Original Content podcast: Apple’s star-studded ‘Morning Show’ gets off to a bumpy-but-promising start

Which new streaming service is right for you?

  • Post category:Apple TV+

new streaming services

The streaming wars have begun and there’s suddenly a lot more TV to watch: Apple’s new service, Apple TV+, launched Nov. 1. Disney’s offering, Disney+, debuts Nov. 12. NBCUniversal’s Peacock and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max will be available in April and May, respectively.

With the emergence of so many new platforms, the entertainment landscape has become a confusing jungle to navigate. Simply making an informed choice about which service to subscribe to can be more frustrating than exciting.

Some of you will no doubt sign up for more than one of these new streaming services. Others will decide they’re fine with their existing Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon subscriptions and eschew the new guys altogether. But if you need some guidance figuring out which new option is best for your particular viewing habits, let Quartz help you out with our quiz:

Looking for more in-depth coverage of streaming? Sign up for a free trial of Quartz membership, and read our premium field guide on the future of entertainment as we know it.

Source: qz.com

Continue Reading Which new streaming service is right for you?

All change in the UK SVOD market

  • Post category:Apple TV+

What effect will the biggest wave of change in the video-on-demand (VOD) market since the launch of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have in the UK?

Competition in the UK streaming market is heating up. Apple TV+ launched on November 1, 2019, the launch of Britbox is imminent with a beta testing phase currently in place, and Disney+ and other media owners are gearing up to launch streaming services in the UK in 2020.

What’s the current picture?

Right now, Netflix clearly dominates the subscription-VOD (SVOD) market in terms of usage. Netflix has a market share of 61% based on average daily SVOD usage, Amazon Prime Video is in second position with a 25% share, Now TV is in third position at 11% while Disney Life takes 2%. The figures are based on the latest findings in Goldmedia’s VOD-Ratings (*) data for October 2019.

Stranger Things was the most watched title with Season 3 driving the most viewing followed by Power. The Big Bang Theory was the third most watched title due to viewing across the seasons. Unbelievable, in its first season, took overall fourth position. Season 9 of Suits pushed this title to fifth position with the help of viewing of earlier seasons.

The top 10 analysis is based on viewing by all viewers in front of the screen covering all titles on SVOD platforms and includes viewing of all seasons of any title.

Co-viewing builds usage levels to these titles.

Analysis of the number of people in front of the screen by title reveals that Stranger Things, the top title this month, also had the highest number of viewers on average compared with other titles in the top 10.

Account sharing impacts market position

Analysis of how many people share an account, with family or friends for instance, reveals differences in levels of password sharing between providers. According to analysis of October 2019 data, there are 2.6 users for every Netflix account, compared to only 1.9 for Amazon Prime Video, which in part explains higher usage levels of Netflix. Now TV has 2.3 users per subscription.

What can we expect next?

With Apple TV+ now up and running and other new VOD platform providers lining up to launch we would expect to see a shift in the market shares. Britbox is planning to enter the market later this year, Disney+ is likely to start in early 2020 and NBC Universal has announced it is launching its streaming service Peacock in 2020. Meanwhile Sky and HBO have closed a new output deal which gives Sky continued access to HBO’s new production and content library.

The UK is currently facing the most significant change in the streaming market since the launch of Prime Video and Netflix five years ago. New business models may emerge, and the current market position will no doubt change. From the point of view of VOD providers in the UK, 2020 looks set to be an eventful year.

(*) The latest findings from VOD-Ratings are based on analysis of usage of UK SVOD content and providers in October 2019. VOD-Ratings is an analysis platform based on continuous surveys of usage of paid-for VOD content and has been developed by German consulting and research group Goldmedia.

VOD-Ratings has been measuring viewers and usage of the pay-VOD market in the UK since January 2019. Methodologically, the survey is based on a rolling online survey using the ‘day-after-recall method’. Up to 60,000 respondents aged 16+ are surveyed per year. Goldmedia developed VOD-Ratings in Germany where the service has been running since 2017.

Source: broadbandtvnews.com

Continue Reading All change in the UK SVOD market

Can’t find the new Apple TV+ shows, like ‘Dickinson?’ This shortcut can help.

  • Post category:Apple TV+

The Apple TV app is so bad, someone had to create a shortcut just to make it easier to navigate to the new Apple TV+ content. Apple may have invested billions in its Apple TV+ streaming service and hosted star-studded events to tout its new shows, but what it apparently didn’t do is give much thought to designing its TV app to help direct users to its exclusive content.

Instead, the Apple TV+ shows were mixed in with everything else at launch — forcing users to scroll past What to Watch recommendations and more from the larger iTunes catalog just to find the Apple TV+ section.

And even if and when you found that Apple TV+ section, each individual show page is poorly organized, too. Instead of following the standard format where a season’s episodes are listed in vertical order on an iPhone, Apple’s TV app opts for a horizontal scroll instead. It’s frustrating. It’s confusing. No one likes it.

Apple TV+ may only include a handful of shows at launch, but it still deserves its own, dedicated tab — like Apple’s very own Netflix within the larger construct of the TV app. Part of the problem, as detailed by 9to5Mac here, is that Apple’s TV app has been designed to be a jack-of-all-trades. It connects you to your iTunes library of rentals and purchases, to your add-on premium subscriptions, to your TV Everywhere-authenticated apps, and to some — but not all — of your favorite streaming services.

But the end result is an app that’s sort of a mess and one that failed to carve out a dedicated space for Apple TV+.

This problem also annoyed MacStories Editor-in-Chief Federico Viticci, who wanted an easier way to navigate directly to the Apple TV+ catalog content.

His solution? An iOS shortcut.

Viticci figured out a way to create URLs that will open any Apple TV+ section you want to get to in the TV app. Similar to how Apple Music web links can be edited to direct to content right in the Apple Music app, Apple TV+ web links can also be tweaked to launch the TV app — without redirecting you through Safari first. This is done by replacing the “https” part of the content URL with “com.apple.tv,” he explains.

With this discovery, Viticci was then able to create a shortcut that lets you go directly to any Apple TV+ page — including the “front page” for Apple TV+ or the individual show pages for shows like The Morning Show, For All Mankind, See, and Dickinson.

Apple TV+’s catalog is a bit larger than that, of course, and will continue to grow. But you can continue to edit the shortcut to meet your needs.

To add something new to the default list of shows, you’ll first have to locate the show in the TV+ app — good luck! You’ll then tap the “Share” button then choose “Copy” to copy the link to your clipboard. In the shortcut, you’ll add a new “Text” item to the action that’s at the beginning of the shortcut, and name it what you like. Finally, you’ll paste in the link you had copied into the “Value” field.

Ta-da! You updated the shortcut!

Or if you just want to use the iOS shortcut as is, so you can get right to Dickinson, you can add it by clicking here.

Viticci tells TechCrunch he expects to keep adding sections as well as links for more shows, as these become available. The shortcut, which is called simply “Apple TV+ Launcher,” will be updated in the MacStories Archive so people can re-download the latest version as needed, he says.

Of course, when people are building a shortcut to work around an app’s poor navigation, there’s a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.

Now, it’s possible that Apple intentionally mixed in Apple TV+ content in such a way to not make it look like it was using its platform power to give its own service a boost, in light of the recent antitrust and anticompetitive investigations into its business practices. But Apple usually doesn’t go so far as to offer a poor user experience — that’s just not in its ethos.

Besides, Apple certainly wasn’t shy about marketing the streaming service in other ways — as with the push notifications or the big Apple TV+ banner at the top of the Apple TV homescreen, for example.

Instead, this just looks like a case of needing to tweak the app’s design.

Until then, we can just use the shortcut to help.

(Image credits: MacStories)

 

Source: techcrunch.com

Continue Reading Can’t find the new Apple TV+ shows, like ‘Dickinson?’ This shortcut can help.

How To Open the Apple TV+ Front Page and Individual Shows Directly in the TV App

  • Post category:Apple TV+

Update, November 7: The shortcut has been updated with links to all currently announced Apple TV+ shows. You can find the updated download link below and in the MacStories Shortcuts Archive.


I was listening to the latest episode of Upgrade, and, among several fair points about the shortcomings of Apple’s TV app for iPhone and iPad, Jason Snell mentioned an issue that stood out to me: if you don’t know where to look, it can be hard to tell where exactly the Apple TV+ service lives inside the Apple TV app. This sentiment was echoed earlier today in this article by Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac:

Apple has made very few changes to the TV app design and feature set to accommodate the TV+ launch. TV+ is shoehorned in as just another source of content with very little consideration. With other streaming services, if you want to commit to their world and explore everything they have to offer, you can just open the dedicated app and never touch the TV app. With TV+, that’s simply not possible.

There is a channel section of the TV app that is dedicated to TV+ content — but it’s far from perfect. Finding the TV+ section requires a lot of scrolling, meandering past several screens worth of Watch Now recommendations for everything in the iTunes catalog.

I’ve been watching The Morning Show over the weekend (which I surprisingly liked a lot; I’m going to start For All Mankind and See next), and even though I’m used to the TV app’s quirks by now, I recognize that its navigation should be improved. And in particular regarding the new Apple TV+ service, I do believe that it’s somewhat buried in the TV app experience – by default, Apple doesn’t offer a single, easy way to open a “page” with Apple TV+’s complete catalog. So, I had to figure out a solution on my own.

Continue Reading How To Open the Apple TV+ Front Page and Individual Shows Directly in the TV App

Apple Releases Trailer for The Banker Arriving in Theaters December 6th and Streaming on Apple TV+ in January 2020

  • Post category:Apple TV+

Apple has released a trailer for its upcoming movie, The Banker, on its Apple TV YouTube channel. The company describes the film as follows:

Based on a true story, “The Banker” centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racially oppressive establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream. Along with Garrett’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire – while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built.

The film, which is rated PG-13, will be released in theaters December 6th and stream Apple TV+ in January 2020 following a similar pattern to The Elephant Queen and Hala which are also Apple Original movies. It’s an interesting approach and one that is likely designed to ensure the films are eligible for awards like the Oscars, while simultaneously creating marketing opportunities and viewer awareness in advance of their debut on TV+.


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Continue Reading Apple Releases Trailer for The Banker Arriving in Theaters December 6th and Streaming on Apple TV+ in January 2020

Apple TV+ Now Available: Here’s Its Full Launch Lineup

  • Post category:Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is now available, a video subscription service that Apple has been working on for over two years now. The new streaming service debuts in over 100 countries, and can be accessed now inside the TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and select smart TV manufacturers, as well as from tv.apple.com.

Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month, but all users are offered a 7-day free trial; also, anyone who has purchased a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod touch since September 10 will receive a free year of service. Finally, even if you don’t subscribe at all, Apple has made the first two episodes of all of its series available for free viewing in the TV app.

While the cost of entry is low for Apple TV+, what you get for the price is also fairly limited at the moment. Apple has branded TV+ “the first all-original video subscription service,” which means there’s no back catalog of legacy content, only brand new shows and movies that have never been released before. This angle could be spun as a positive thing in some respects, because many streaming consumers these days care most about new content, but it also means you can quickly watch everything TV+ has to offer and be stuck waiting for more content.

Here’s the full lineup of everything Apple TV+ offers today:

Continue Reading Apple TV+ Now Available: Here’s Its Full Launch Lineup

Apple TV+: Awesome student discount, Sony gets TV app, more….

  • Post category:Apple TV+

TV+ premiere

As the November 1 launch date looms large, Apple continues its Apple TV+ marketing blitz with a string of show premieres, a fantastic student subscription deal and the appearance of the TV app on even more third party devices….

All the music and TV for students

Apple has combined both Apple Music and TV+ services in a compelling student deal.

Under this deal a student can subscribe to both services for the reduced price of just $4.99/month.

In other words, for a few dollars, students will be able to access all Apple’s new TV shows and all the world’s music using their Apple device, a Fire or Roku stick, and more.

See image

Apple wants to teach the world to see TV improve

Sony gets the Apple TV habit

Sony announced that it will support AirPlay 2 earlier this year. At that time, only Samsung had committed to also providing an Apple TV app on its TV sets, but this has changed.

Sony is adding the TV app to its smart televisions in the form of a firmware upgrade. Which models are going to get this largesse isn’t clear, but the following Sony sets all currently support AirPlay 2: Sony Z9G Series, Sony A9G Series, Sony X950G Series and the Sony X850G Series.

Watch Apple’s TV+ trailers here.

Amazon and Roku both added Apple’s TV app to their systems in recent weeks. It is already available on Samsung sets and is expected to reach TV’s from LG and Vixio soon.

Apple hasn’t yet announced plans to introduce an Android app for TV+.

Roku Apple TV

Roku gets TV+

What you get?

The TV app doesn’t just let you watch TV+ shows – it also lets you purchase TV and movies from iTunes and access content provided by others using the Apple TV Channels service.

The service will be available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.

If you purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac you can get one year of Apple TV+ for free.

One more thing

Apple has engaged in a string of show premiere across the U.S. in recent weeks.

  • October 26: Premiered the Morning Show.
  • October 21: Premiered See.
  • October 17: Premiere for Dickinson.
  • October 15: For All Mankind show premier.

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State your truth

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Continue Reading Apple TV+: Awesome student discount, Sony gets TV app, more….

Apple TV+ Review Roundup: Apple’s Originals Met with Mixed Reception

  • Post category:Apple TV+

Apple’s streaming video service, Apple TV+, launches this Friday, November 1st. Ahead of its launch, today the first reviews dropped for the service’s tentpole originals: The Morning Show, See, For All Mankind, and Dickinson. Overall the critical takes are extremely mixed: though I haven’t seen any reviews that are outright negative, and there are a few which are very positive, the majority of reviews seem to lie somewhere in-between those two extremes.

For All Mankind appears the best-received Apple series, with Dickinson perhaps the second most-praised; however, that may be due to the added pressure placed on The Morning Show and See as Apple’s top two draws. Though many reviewers found things to praise about each show, such as Jennifer Aniston’s strong performance in The Morning Show, and the incredible visuals of See, the majority of their critical emphasis was on the ways these series fail to live up to high expectations.

One common note struck by reviewers is that with most Apple TV+ shows, only three episodes per series were provided for review, which made it difficult to adequately evaluate each first season. Perhaps tellingly, For All Mankind had the most episodes screened for critics, and it’s the most-praised show.

Below is a roundup of excerpts from various reviews that help provide a good overview of what to expect from Apple’s first original series.

Continue Reading Apple TV+ Review Roundup: Apple’s Originals Met with Mixed Reception

Apple TV+ set for low-key Russian launch

  • Post category:Apple TV+

Apple TV+ will make its debut in Russia on November 1 without local language dubbing.

Quoting a source close to Apple, Kommersant reports that it will instead use local language subtitles.

It adds that as Russian audiences are accustomed to dubbing, local competitors believe the service, like Netflix, expect to secure a large number of subscribers in its initial stage.

It will also probably be regarded as very niche product.

In Russia, Apple TV+ will be available as an app for free for a year on new Apple devices, or otherwise R199 (€ 2.81) a month.

By comparison, two of Russia’s leading OTT services ivi and Okko charge R399 and from R99 to R599 a month respectively.

Source: broadbandtvnews.com

Continue Reading Apple TV+ set for low-key Russian launch