What you need to know
- Russia has new laws coming into play next year that could affect Apple.
- One existing law could see Apple TV+ banned if it gets too popular.
- No foreign streaming service is allowed more than 50% of the market.
We already know that Apple could be forced to install Russian apps on iPhones following the passing of new Russian law, but things could get even worse. If Apple TV+ gets too popular it could be banned in the country altogether.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (via Cult of Mac) Russia's laws won't allow any foreign streaming service to have a market share higher than 50%. The law is supposed to help protect Russian businesses.
But Russian firm tvzavr doesn't seem too concerned by the arrival of Apple TV+.
Since its launch, Apple TV+ has kept a low profile, which apparently satisfies local streaming services.
"At this point, we don't see Apple TV+ as a competitor, since they have a totally different content policy and audience," Elena Khlebnikova, content director at the online video service tvzavr, told THR. "As we know, the service doesn't offer content dubbed into Russian, which probably means that they don't expect a substantial audience at the initial stage, as Russian viewers are mostly not used to subtitled content."
If Apple TV+ does run foul of the law it could potentially be kicked out of Russia completely, as could competitors like Netflix. So far neither company has made too much noise about its Russian subscriber numbers. And this law could be the reason behind that.
Apple TV+ went live in Russia on November 1 and costs RUB 200 ($3.20). That makes it less costly than in the United States, too.