Apple TV+ becomes first streaming platform to win Best Picture

At the 2022 Academy Awards, Apple TV+ exclusive CODA won the Oscar for Best Picture, marking the first time that a streaming platform earned the honor. The film, which received accolades for starring a predominantly deaf cast, also won awards for Best Supporting Actor (Troy Kotsur) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Siân Heder). CODA previously won four awards at the Sundance Film Festival 2021 as well.

Since Apple TV+ debuted a little over two years ago, the service has been somewhat slow to grow its portfolio of content, but Apple has taken a quality over quantity approach. One study last year based on IMDb ratings showed that Apple’s 70 shows at the time generated the highest-rated content of any platform. More recently, the Wall Street Journal called Apple TV+ a “critical darling” for its variety of highly-praised content including Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Wolfwalkers, Severance, The Tragedy of Macbeth, and more.

Apple noted that its films and TV shows on the service have garnered a total of 240 wins and 953 nominations across numerous awards shows, including the SAG Awards, BAFTA Film Awards, Critics Choice Awards, Critics Choice Documentary Awards, NAACP Image Awards, Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards, and more.

Apple has yet to offer explicit subscriber numbers for Apple TV+, but the company is one of the richest in the world and is not afraid to invest in the service over the long term. Already in its relatively short lifetime, Apple TV+ has secured content from some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, and others. Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on a recent earnings call that Apple TV+ has “already proved itself to fans around the world.”

Keeping the quality of content high is one sure way to avoid churn on Apple TV+. The platform is also part of a larger subscription strategy from Apple to boost recurring revenues from its userbase, leveraging services like Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Fitness+. The competition in video streaming remains incredibly fierce, but Apple seems to understand that content is king.

Interpret’s VideoWatch research shows that while content is a motivator for Apple TV+ subscribers, Apple hasn’t caught up yet with leading services Netflix and Disney+. Despite the award-winning content Apple has been adding to its platform, Apple TV+ still trails these incumbents in attracting attention for its content relative to other more mundane reasons to subscribe. Apple TV+ is currently in line with Hulu and only tops Amazon Prime Video – where subscribers are often brought along by other Prime-related benefits like free shipping.

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