Tim Cook Makes Rare Apple TV+ Comments On Earnings Call, Touts “Strategic Position,” “Great Content”

·2 min read

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted proudly that Apple TV+ shows and films have racked up nearly 200 awards and 900 total nominations, giving a shout-out to Ted Lasso, The Tragedy of Macbeth, CODA, Swan Song and upcoming series Severance and The Afterparty.

“Each one is a tremendous credit to all the storytellers, in front of the camera and behind,” he told Wall Street analysts on a call following Apple’s latest quarterly earnings.

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The first mention of Apple TV+ came only minutes into the event, and they kept coming. Until recently, the platform, which launched in November 2019, was a rarely mentioned blip on the corporate balance sheet of a giant with $366 billion in annual revenue.

This time, Cook was asked more and talked more about the streamer. “We wanted to give storytellers a place to tell original stories, and I feel really good about where we are today and the strategic position of the product,” he said.

“We don’t make purely financial decisions about the content. We try to find great content that has a reason for being, and we love shows like Ted Lasso and several of the others as well that have a reason for existing and they have a good message, and they make people feel good at the end of it, the CEO added. “But I don’t view that we have narrowed our universe of things we are selecting from. There is plenty to pick from out there, and I think we are doing a pretty good job of it as we speak.”

(Apple just closed the biggest deal of the virtual 2022 Sundance Film Festival, securing worldwide rights to the Cooper Raiff-directed Cha Cha Real Smooth, starring Raiff and Dakota Johnson, for about $15 million.)

Apple doesn’t break out stats for Apple TV+, which is part of the tech giant’s Services sector, and Cook didn’t provide any.

He and CFO Luca Maestri offered a global Apple subscriber number – 785 million last quarter, with lots of room to grow — that lumps together an expanding number of services from video and music to Cloud, fitness and ApplePay. Subscriptions boost global consumer engagement with Apple devices and help sell new ones, Maestri said.

Apple reported strong numbers for its fiscal first quarter ended in December. Revenue of $123 billion was up 11%, an all-time record that topped forecasts. IPhone sales of $71.6 billion and sales of most products hit highs, except for iPads, which were hit by supply-chain disruptions.

Apple shares, which have been knocked lower in a recent rout of the tech sector, were up nearly 5% in after-hours trading.

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