Apple TV+ Reportedly Heading Toward 'Breaking Point' Amid Staffing Problems and Frustrated Content Partners
Industry sources speaking to Business Insider claim that Apple TV+ lacks "a sufficiently robust infrastructure," resulting in a frustrating corporate culture. The Apple TV+ content team is reportedly under-resourced and has irritated production partners. The streamer's leadership structure is "very flat" and "key departments, like marketing and publicity, don't communicate enough, leaving partners to juggle multiple points of contact."
Two content executives who have worked with Apple TV+ told Business Insider that the streamer's in-house lawyers lack familiarity with common entertainment law practices and executives are expected to check with bosses before making decisions, which slows down the dealmaking and production processes. One executive said that Apple TV+ began streaming a show before a contract was signed, while another said that they had problems simply getting invoices paid.
Other sources said that Apple TV+ has a chaotic approach to marketing, including "disruptive, last-minute marketing planning for projects that have been in the works for months; sloppy press rollouts; landing pages for series that weren't ready in time." "They are still marketing like it's an iPhone, not content," one executive told Business Insider. As a result, details of new projects are tightly controlled and kept secret until the last minute, and content partners get little to no information on how their projects are performing with subscribers. Similar concerns were raised by studio executives speaking to The Information last year.
A former Apple member of staff said that there is burnout at Apple TV+, partly due to a number of delayed shows moving forward at the same time. "There's going to be a breaking point. People are stretched thin and working too hard," they added.
Apple purportedly wants to make all of Apple TV+'s content itself to avoid reliance on partners like Warner Bros., but it does not currently have the resources to do so. The company is said to be hoping to rectify some of the immediate workflow issues by hiring more mid-level content executives to manage cost projections and budgeting. Another source speaking to Business Insider defended Apple TV+, claiming that the issues are the result of the streamer still being fairly new.
The report comes just days after Apple TV+'s "CODA" won Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, becoming the first film from a streaming service to ever win the award.