Why Netflix, Spotify or YouTube Not Developing For Apple Vision Pro

This groundbreaking ‘spatial computing’ gadget claims to offer the ultimate immersive TV-watching experience, yet prominent streaming services are notably absent in developing dedicated apps for it.

In the previous week, pre-orders commenced for Apple’s Vision Pro headset, a $3,500 “spatial computing” platform that CEO Tim Cook envisions as the next evolutionary step beyond the Mac and iPhone, marking the initiation of the third significant era in Apple’s history.

However, amidst the media coverage, the launch has been accompanied by subdued resistance from key stakeholders, whose backing is crucial for ensuring the triumph of this innovative device.

According To Bloomberg:

Instead of developing a dedicated Vision Pro app or extending support for its current iPad app on the platform, Netflix is opting to forgo these options. The streaming giant, in direct competition with Apple in the streaming space, conveyed in a statement that users keen on accessing its content on the Vision Pro can conveniently do so directly from the web.

Navigating The Risks Of App Development For Apple Vision Pro

Creating an app for a novel platform involves substantial risk and expenses. During the initial weekend of its release, the Vision Pro witnessed estimated sales of 160,000 to 180,000 units, as per analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Even if every new Vision Pro owner were to install the Netflix app, it would still represent a modest fraction of the streaming giant’s colossal 250 million paid subscribers.

Netflix’s primary goal is not accumulating app installs but sustaining paid subscriptions. The investment in developing a new platform app is justified only if it attracts new customers or retains existing subscribers.

Hence, it’s understandable why the company might be hesitant to allocate resources to a Vision Pro app, despite Apple’s enthusiastic promotion of the device as the ultimate immersive TV experience.

Netflix has taken a similar stance with the Meta Quest, Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious endeavor to establish the “metaverse” trend.

In both scenarios, users find themselves compelled to access the web version of Netflix to indulge in virtual reality TV watching.

Consequently, they lose the convenience of watching shows offline, a crucial feature of the headsets, especially for immersive experiences during flights.

However, Netflix not only refrained from investing in app development but also took measures to prevent its service from running on the headset.

The Vision Pro can execute iPhone and iPad apps in a “compatibility mode,” unless developers explicitly choose to opt out. Netflix has opted out of this, and it’s not the only one.

What motivates these companies to actively block Vision Pro users from accessing their services? It might be a pursuit of quality.

As users of cross-platform applications have experienced – like running an iPhone app on an iPad or an iPad app on a Mac – just because something is technically compatible with another platform doesn’t ensure a seamless and enjoyable user experience.

However, I believe there’s a clue in the other significant Apple development from the past week: the company’s reluctant acceptance of a court-mandated decision allowing developers to circumvent Apple’s proprietary payment systems.

App developers for iPhones now face a decision. They can invoice customers through Apple’s system, incurring a 30% charge, or opt for a more cost-effective third-party service, paying around 3% and an additional 27% to Apple.

According To Apple:

Every App Store developer, irrespective of whether they incorporate buttons or links with calls to action, enjoys the advantages of Apple’s exclusive technology, tools safeguarded by intellectual property, and entry to its user base. Apple’s fee on revenue earned from sales will be 27%.

The company asserts its right to a share of all economic activities generated via the App Store.

Although it doesn’t cover “all transactions that Apple has facilitated,” it deems charging on digital purchases as a “reasonable means to account for the substantial value Apple provides developers.”

The iPhone stands as an immensely valuable platform, allowing Apple to enforce stringent terms on developers. However, Vision Pro, at least for now, lacks the same established user base.

Developers might question whether investing time and resources to contribute to Apple’s latest venture is truly in their best interest.

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