Apple’s original limited series “Defending Jacob” starring Chris Evans, was released on Blu-ray and DVD this week. This makes it the first original Apple TV + title to achieve physical disc release.
Jacob’s Defense debuted on Apple’s streaming service in April 2020, over a year ago. Released a month after the global lockdown began, Defending Jacob was reportedly a hit for Apple TV +, with audience demand rivaling the original set of launch shows.
The crime drama series stars Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery and Jaeden Martell. Andy Barber (Evans) has to defend his son (Martell) in a murder trial and goes to great lengths to prove his innocence in court. The story is based on a book of the same name. Apple signed the show’s writer, Mark Bomback, to an exclusive TV development deal after the success of Defending Jacob.
Considering that Apple TV + has been out for almost two years at this point, it seemed fair to assume that Apple had maintained release exclusivity on its original TV shows and movies, forcing anyone who wants to watch to get it. an Apple TV + subscription.
However, the physical press release of Defending Jacob by Paramount shows that this is not a hard and fast rule. The Long Way Up Travel Series is also promote a record release to come later in the year.
In general, you would expect Apple to want to keep its content exclusive to its streaming service and nowhere else to encourage TV + subscriptions. However, Apple has never confirmed the nature of the platform’s exclusivity. Apple’s production agreements with its partners are likely to vary, and it retains more rights to some projects than others.
In this case, it is obvious that Paramount has retained the rights to Defending Jacob’s physical medium so that it is available on disk. It even includes new bonus content and special features. The disc does not appear to be Apple branded at all.
So if there is something about Apple TV + that you like but don’t want to sign up for an “yet another” streaming service, there is now some hope that your favorite show may be available elsewhere on down the line. (I know some moviegoers wanted Blu-ray versions of Apple TV + movies like Greyhound and Wolfwalkers to be added to their collections to own them forever.)
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