Apple TV+ Isn’t Worth It

Apple TV+ launched with a bunch of A-listers, and so far we have seen a handful of series on the service. I watched and enjoyed two of them – The Morning Show and For All Mankind – but now that they’re over, what do I do? I’m not interested in the other series, and, while there’s a lot of stuff that’s been announced, Apple has fallen into the trap of not having enough content to make its service worthwhile.

It’s only $5 a month, and free for a year to anyone (like me) who bought a new Apple device. That free subscription is Apple’s way of planning for this period, when there’s nothing more for people to watch. But what about those who pay cash money for the service? Since there’s no back catalog, there’s no point in paying any more.

Apple clearly knew this would happen, and this is probably why they gave away millions of free subscriptions. For a service like this to stick, however, it needs new content regularly. I liked what I saw, and it was free (well, I did pay a lot for that iPhone…), but going forward, I hope there will be a reason to want to pay for a subscription when the freebie runs out.

19 thoughts on “Apple TV+ Isn’t Worth It

    • Sure, but would you continue paying $5 a month after it’s over if there’s nothing else worth watching? As I say, I watched two series, and now there’s nothing to watch (that interests me).

  1. I thought that before I bought my iPad! And since when did a season of a TV show end in 8 or 10 episodes?? The first year of Star Trek (TOS) was over 20 and Gunsmoke was over 30 episodes. Hollywood is getting overpaid and lazy!

  2. s/new/knew/

    I’ve also been thinking that Apple might have been better off just offering the service as a freebie to its loyal customers. However, then it occurred to me that some people might want to watch a show without committing to a device purchase. E.g., I was sharing the premise of some Apple TV+ shows with some friends who haven’t recently bought a new Apple device (but are in the ecosystem), and they were very interested in checking it out. Not having any option to do so but buying an expensive device might have permanently turned them off the service. Maybe the answer would have been to bundle Apple TV+ as a bonus for some other subscriptions (Music, News+, and higher iCloud tiers, for example).

    All that said, the shows I’ve watched so far range from very good to outstanding. Dickinson was a major surprise for me: It doesn’t match my usual favored genre (SF), but I (and my family) really enjoyed the premise and its execution. I just finished For All Mankind and it was great as well. I saw “See” earlier, and it turned out better than I feared from the trailer (where the script was just awful; there is some of that still in the full product, but it’s not as bad, and the story and photography are great). The Morning Show doesn’t match my usual tastes as far as topic goes, but given my Dickinson experience and the overall high quality of the shows I’ve seen I suspect I’ll give it a chance, too.

  3. Isn’t this potentially true of any of the streaming services? Disney+ gave us the Mandoloran but that’s over so now what? I already own most of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. HBO can have a similar problem with only a few truly New releases planned you have to find 1 or 2 movies they offer each month to make it worthwhile to give them your $15/month or you could again just purchase those movies you love and never wonder wether they will be planing 2 years from now when you get the bug to re-watch them.
    Netflix is the most ambitious of the streamers, making dozens of new shows each year and hoping a couple of them suck you in but it is about that $15/month and doesn’t integrate properly with AppleTV’s up next interface. Sure they have some back catalog but they have bee loosing that at an alarming rate and if you really care about an older series you can often times purchase them outright for the equivalent of a few months of subscription payments without having to wonder if you are going to loose access to them.

    As for Apple TV+ Dickinson, didn’t do it for me and Servant is a bit too strange but See, For All, and The morning show were all amazing as was the elephant queen.
    Truth be Told was just released and little America, The Banker, Mythic Quest and more are on there way in a month or so. Going further out Amazing stories, Home before dark, and a bunch of other shows are scheduled for this years release.

    So here is the question? if you subscribed in November have you gotten your $15 worth of entertainment to make it through the end of the month and will one of the Feb releases be worth the next $5. I think it is a bit early to say it is not worth it yet. And if there are a number of shows that come out over the next few months that are all renewed for next year. How easy will it be to justify keeping your $50/year subscription to this service?

  4. I agree that Disney has a huge back catalog, but much of what is in it is stuff I and many others already own. I would bet that more people signed up for Disney Plus for Mandalorian than for access to it’s back catalog.
    You stated “Apple TV+ isn’t worth it!”

    I’m saying that I absolutely already got my value from the first $15 I have spent.

    See, The morning show, For all, the elephant queen, a bit of Servant and I haven’t even started the January releases, of Truth Be Told, Hala, or Little America. I’m also looking forward to MythicQuest starting february and I’m sure others are interested in some of the other’s.

    Bottom line is that Apple is pushing out a steady stream of content and I know of a dozen more that will come out latter this year. So, while you might not have gotten your money’s worth in the first 3 months, I’d argue that many have and that it is not like it is ending.

    Who knows? Maybe Mythic Quest will change your mind if you are still subscribed.

    • Why do all these types of articles omit the words ‘to me’ in the headlines? Oh, yeah, because *no one* would ever click on them, otherwise. (See what I did there?)

        • Not from the headline. The headline could mean anyone, including Apple. What’s even more amusing is your whining about the price and content even though it’s free to you. An earlier poster made a great point that the 20 hours of high quality programming you did enjoy to date is surely worth $15. By the time you’re asked to pay again, one can only guess how much programming will be available; certainly at least another 20 hours of the two shows you enjoyed. So, depending on when you started your free year, you may end up paying barely over a penny a day (plus a $1K phone you get to enjoy). Next year around this time your opinion will be far more interesting; but please use an accurate, more precise headline. Happy Wednesday

          • Be serious – you know it’s an opinion. Anyway, you’re just repeating what someone else said on Twitter.

            You said:

            “What’s even more amusing is your whining about the price and content even though it’s free to you.”

            I said in the article:

            But what about those who pay cash money for the service? Since there’s no back catalog, there’s no point in paying any more.

            Try to read with a bit more attention.

            • I am being serious. I’m seriously annoyed when journalists, especially those I respect and admire, such as yourself, abuse language with imprecision and broad assertions to gain clicks. Moreover, it’s one thing to be provocative; it’s another to be so arrogant as to assume your opinion reflects the majority of the population. I’m a paying subscriber to ATV+, and I’m currently happy to continue my subscription.

              Clearly there is room to believe that not everyone agrees with your opinion that there’s only two good shows being offered; and to assume that everyone has time to consume the entire catalog in some 70-odd days since launch is also very presumptive; or that a back catalog even matters to those for whom it’s enough to find time to swallow and enjoy the best of all the current offerings across all the services.

              I’m personally still struggling to find time to even finish sampling all of ATV+, not to mention my watch list on the other services (I haven’t even started The Mandalorian, Star Trek, Ms. Maisel S2, The Expanse S4, etc., etc.). Apple has already given me more quality and value than Netflix ever has, and I pay them more than twice as much. It’s *Netflix* that I’m now feeling overcharged for, and ready to take off my CC statement and put on ‘renew when there’s enough to enjoy for a month or two then quit again’ status.

              Back catalog? Who the heck has time to even watch the best of the *current* catalog? I can’t even keep up with what interests me on HBO alone; forget about staying current with the cream of all the services. And what about considered listening to the wealth of good new music? Or time to consume the *hundreds* of books on my reading list? Or all the must-see theatre offerings? Concerts? Plays? Games? Dancing? Sports? Physical activities? Children? Family? Am I the only one who works more than a typical American work week? I’m exhausted from all the hard choices.

              I’ve got a year of free ATV+ due to me, and I haven’t even bothered to redeem it yet. I should probably at least figure out if there’s a deadline before the offer expires, but even if I neglect to do so, it will likely just be an ‘oh, well’, as it’s a bargain to me thus far.

              Kind Regards, and Happy Wednesday

            • You’re right, there is too much. Yet people flock to the new services even though they won’t watch much of what’s available. I don’t care about the Disney service, and I use Netflix a couple months at a time, then cancel for a few months. I’m not a rabid TV watcher, and spend a lot more time reading.

              But the biggest problem with Apple TV+ is the limited offerings. As I said, there are only two series that interest me. And I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of people (though families with kids may find the children’s content worth watching as well).

              Apple has a long way to go to make a compelling service.

            • I respectfully disagree. As I said, it’s already more compelling to me than Netflix, and as I’ve heard many others comment. There’s very much a split camp when it comes to who is happy with it and will stick with it without a free pass. And it’s the very fact that people *are* paying for premium content and eschewing the drek of commercial TV that allows for these massive budget quality series and limited series, let alone award-quality, lauded films that at one time would’ve dominated at the box office. Starting this year or next, the industry will start tracking (or attempting to speculate upon with completely made-up estimates) the ‘churn’ between services, just like they do with mobile providers. I’d love to tell you the market is already saturated, but the many services yet to come will challenge that more than most can imagine. It’s crazy what people will pay for bread and circuses. And it’s another game most of us play because we lack the freedom to just choose how to spend our lives in chunks larger than a spare evening.

              And let us not forget the ever present distraction of the internet; just choosing to engage with you, and enjoy a spirited debate with an actual human of above average intelligence, I’ve had to sacrifice several intriguing headlines in my RSS before I get my sluggish body off to work. Luckily for you, it helps pay for your Apple obsession and your classical catalog. (:


  5. I assumed your headline was in part an attempt to spark debate and if it was you win!

    I’ve voiced my opinion, but just to be clear my issue with your statement is that it doesn’t properly inform why! If I didn’t have AppleTV + and wasn’t aware of it’s plans I’d assume that of the 4 shows it has only 2 are any good and no others are on their way soon.

    But the truth is that at the time of your writing of this article there were around 10 shows many of which you may or may not have seen and the day you posted this a bran new series came online with more dropping next month.

    So what? do you just assume that none of those will be worth $5. What math went into the title that Apple TV + isn’t worth it (for you)?

    • None of the other shows interest me. I don’t have kids, so that’s three of the ten shows, and even of what they show as coming soon, there’s a series I might watch and one movie.

      • Ok so I was a little on you side vs Frederico regarding the whole Opinion piece and in my opinion stuff. But you have to know that people will read this title with no knowledge of what is being offered and your Opinion should share these types of facts with the reader.

        Maybe something along the lines of:

        After briefly hearing about the synopsis of the dozen or so offerings I was only remotely interested in 1 or two shows, so due to my apathy toward this service, it seems impossible that it could be worth the cost.

        Just keeping it real.

  6. It seems you’re less experimental, Kirk. I tend to look at the creators, as much as, and probably more than the synopsis. E.G., if Jerry Bruckheimer’s name is attached, especially as a director, I know with great confidence i will likely hate whatever he’s made. Whereas if it’s Werner Herzog or Charlie Kauffman, chance are i will like it, or at least be challenged by it. Same for actors, show runners, writers, etc.

    Sometimes I’m wrong, but I generally give something at least a few minutes, if not 1-3 episodes before I bail. And more than once I’ve not regretted violating my three and out rules, and been rewarded with treasured surprises.

    Apple’s See and Morning Show were such; the former got off to a *really* bad start, but the really intriguing characters and story didn’t kick in till e6 (and while on the whole not the best, it’s certainly well-made and beautifully filmed); the latter was truly a mess through e3, but I have great trust in Witherspoon, and Aniston and Carell both, when each chooses a serious role, so I stuck with it and ended up enjoying all but the last five minutes.

    Similar for Mankind, whereas the podcaster Drama mess wasn’t even worth a third, to me. Shamaylan’s offering might be interesting past e3,but i don’t have time to find out, as I was focused on Watchmen (three complete viewings!!) and now it’s finally time to devour the final season of Legion.

    My point is, there are several things I’m willing to test for $5 a month. You’re apparently far more discerning and self-assured in your tastes; but has no one ever cajoled you into watching something and liking it, when you were certain you’d rather pass? I know i have, many times, so i try to be more willing to experiment.

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