When it comes to video subscription services, Apple is like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. The company has consistently failed to achieve anything significant in the video subscription market.
But wait, it has the “Planet of the Apps” show so I guess it’s doing just fine. Not.
Hulu, unlike Apple, has charged ahead is now offering live television as part of its subscription service. You can even download the Hulu with Live TV app right now from the iOS App Store.
Here’s the official description of the Hulu with Live TV app:
Welcome to a new Hulu experience for subscribers of Hulu with Live TV.
In this version of our app, enjoy the following:
• Record Live TV to your Cloud DVR – plus, stream 50+ top Live and On Demand TV channels. Sports fans can watch and record games!
• New onboarding experience to help you build the Hulu you want right from the beginning.
• All-new home that makes it easier to find the most timely and relevant things for you to watch right now. •
Track everything in My Stuff – manage your shows, movies, networks, and more.
• Watch and browse at the same time by using Fliptray. Just tap the Fliptray button during playback.
Enjoy all your TV in one place with a new Hulu experience – more personalized and intuitive than ever before.
Hulu subscribers with Live TV* can enjoy the entire Hulu streaming library, 50+ top Live and On Demand channels, along with thousands of popular on-demand titles from these channels.
Hulu with Live TV Subscribers
If you have subscribed to Hulu with Live TV, you can enjoy the entire Hulu streaming library, plus over 50 top Live and On Demand channels, including FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, FX, NBCSN, FS1, History Channel and TNT. Watch live sports from top pro and college leagues plus regional sports networks available in many areas. Plus, enjoy national news with local feeds available in select cities, popular kids shows, can’t-miss events and thousands of popular on-demand shows and movies from many of these channels.
You’ll enjoy features that help you customize how you watch TV:
• Create up to 6 personalized profiles for the whole household. Enjoy your own collection of shows, movies, networks, and more.
• Track your favorites with My Stuff. Add shows, networks, and movies for quick access across your devices.
• The more you watch, the better it gets. Enjoy a reimagined TV experience that adjusts to your tastes every time you use Hulu.
• Browse while you watch with Fliptray to quickly find what else is on, change the channel, or get recommendations of what to watch next.
Plus, you can enjoy additional features:
• Record Live TV with your Cloud DVR to watch your favorites anytime.
• Watch concurrent streams on multiple devices
• Track and record games from your favorite teams with My Teams
Why can’t Apple get signed contracts?
Hulu being able to achieve live television integration into its app is very impressive. It’s clear that the service is looking to the future and knows what will appeal to its subscriber base. With the release of live television, Hulu has left Apple utterly in the dust.
So what the heck is wrong with Apple anyway? Why can’t the company get signed contracts along the lines of what Hulu has been able to achieve? It can’t be for lack of money, since Apple’s treasure horde is now around $250 billion dollars. The company can buy just about anything it wants on the planet.
The only conclusion I can come to is that Apple needs to reshuffle its executive deck and find somebody besides Eddy Cue to lead its video subscription service effort. He has had more than enough time to get it done, and just hasn’t been able to get the contracts signed.
But Apple CEO Tim Cook has proven strangely reticent to replace Cue with another executive. I can’t help but wonder how many more years this will continue before Apple’s board or investors demand some sort of action by Cook.
Apple languishes behind Netflix and Amazon too
The sad thing about Apple’s situation is that it isn’t just lagging behind Hulu, it’s also lagging behind Amazon and Netflix. The latter two companies are building impressive original content libraries that can only be accessed via their subscription services.
Meanwhile, Apple has the show I mentioned earlier: Planet of the Apps.
Somebody needs to light a fire under Tim Cook’s rear end and get him moving the company in the right direction. Apple’s failure to execute on providing a viable video subscription service has now moved from being merely embarrassing to a total and complete farce.
By the time Apple gets anything done in the video subscription space, it will be far too little and far too late. Hulu, Amazon and Netflix will continue to forge ahead while leaving Apple choking on their dust.
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