The New AppleTV+ Service

So I activated my free AppleTV+ year over the weekend and I’m left wondering if I’m doing it wrong or what?

This is just accessed through the AppleTV app, which on one hand sounds logical, but then when I try and use it I’m left frustrated (and remembering what I didn’t like about it last time around).

AppleTV is supposed to be your hub of accessing all your content, great… for all the things it interfaces with anyway. Which leads to my previous issue, it mixes everything together including additional paid content available through Apple’s own store. Every other result, related show or recommendation is for something I haven’t (yet) paid for. The whole thing is just one giant advertisement for more paid content.

AppleTV+ doesn’t seem to change this paradigm either, it’s just another sub-item sort of buried in the interface which shows the extremely limited lineup of half a dozen or so shows (which I’m sure will increase). Most of the related content appears to be stuff you need to buy, although to their credit if you scroll down on each item enough it does show ‘ways to watch’ which do include Stan or Amazon Prime Video.

Another little gotcha, their free trial auto-renews at the end of the period, nothing unusual in that. But if you attempt to cancel your subscription, instead of cancelling at the end of the current period, it says it will immediately terminate and forfeit the rest of your year. I’m guessing that’s a nice subtle way to keep people on board while they build their catalogue over the coming year (the cynic also says it means plenty of people will end up auto-renewing since they forgot to cancel… gotta love monthly subs).

What do I want?
I’d like a way to view only the AppleTV+ content without being shown stuff I can’t watch without paying for it. Ideally, I like to be able to strip out all the other services (Netflix/Stan/Prime etc) and only see Apple in the App, although I get that I might be in the minority on that one.

So once again I’m the grumpy old man complaining, about my free service no less, but my underlying issue has always been the same with the AppleTV app.

/Rant

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I agree with all that you said. They need to make clear, by categories or something, whats for pay, and whats FTA, and having to scroll aaaallll the way down to get to the Plus stuff is just ridiculous.

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Well said.

It may rearrange itself into a better sort order over time based on what you actually watch, but even if this is the case, the initial impression is not good.

I would like to see some way of optionally limiting what is shown to content that is either free, included in a current subscription, or already purchased.

I have subscribed to Apple TV+. I have watched 3 episodes of The Morning Show and it is very good. I’m spending a little too much on steaming services (Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Foxtel Now), so I might drop Foxtel Now as it is the most expensive and the video and audio quality is very poor in my opinion.

As for shows on Apple TV+, I am sure the number will increase soon and don’t forget that Stephen Spielberg is developing a new WWII companion piece to Band Of Brothers that will only be shown on Apple TV+.

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It’s Apple TV all the way down.

Apple TV is a hardware device.

Apple TV is an app on Apple TV that curates content you can buy from Apple and also content you can stream through other installed apps (but not all apps, and there is no way to tell which ones).

Apple TV is an app on iOS/iPadOS devices that operates similarly to Apple TV on Apple TV. Apple TV on iOS/iPadOS syncs playback and watch history with Apple TV on Apple TV, but only if the iOS/iPadOS device has the same apps installed as the Apple TV – and not all apps are available on all platforms. Apple TV is also an app on macOS, but it does not show content that can only be streamed from external apps on an Apple TV or iOS/iPadOS device.

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On the other hand…

I don’t want recommendations. I want content that I want. In other words, I want a content library. I want to be able to select the TV shows and movies and artists and albums and news articles and books and YouTube videos that I want. I don’t want some human curator or machine algorithm telling me what it thinks I may want . I want what I want .

That article is right on the money. It is getting harder and harder to get to my own list of stuff and even then knowing what has new episodes isn’t straight forward. Yes, Netflix/Stan/Prime allows you to add stuff to “Your List” but there isn’t a great way to then access that list and where you are up to.

The answer seems simple to me. Build all these services into Plex. The way it displays and sorts things is magical, there are recommendations tastefully integrated into the bottom of all your content including the ability to find content including one of the cast.

Add in a new section that is pure discovery/recommendations which people could choose to go into (or optionally set as their default home) and I think it would be a really compelling product. I’m a Plex Plus user and I think I would happily pay even more money for a tool that sits across the top of all services as an aggregator.

Now the realist in me says this is never going to happen because each content provider doesn’t want you to leave their ecosystem and give your eyeballs to someone else. If I had to guess I would say the only reason they are in the AppleTV app is because Apple has the power to twist their arms. Is there anything like that anywhere else??

Once upon a time there was a Plex plugin for Netflix at least, but no more it seems.

Yes agreed, I’ve found that offering up of programs from other services, an irritant. A few times I’ve clicked on something I’d like to watch (on iTunes) only to find it takes me to to an Amazon Prime sign up page.

If we aren’t signed up they shouldn’t appear there!

I’m enjoying See and The Morning Show so far…

I agree that the Apple TV app needs to be better. The whole world of streaming services is getting too hectic, we need ways to make things easier not harder.

Watched the first two (free) episodes of The Morning Show. If I could binge the whole season now I would. I would have thought I’d love Jennifer Aniston and not like Reese Witherspoon, but I really dislike Jennifer’s character and am liking Reese’s character.