Android users feel left out as MLS embraces Apple


Anyone who watched the recent MLS Season Pass press conference may have been forgiven for mistakenly thinking it was an Apple fan event. Yes, there have been talks about which talent will bring the MLS games to viewers. But much of the press conference felt like an infomercial for Apple, the company.

“The MLS fan, for 26 years, had to apologize for being an MLS fan, and they don’t have to apologize anymore,” MLS analyst Taylor Twellman explained on stage. from Apple. “I’m just very lucky to be part of a [MLS-Apple] project that I think in 10 years we might be talking about the same way they talked about the iPhone 16 years ago [after it launched].”

MLS commissioner Don Garber mentioned working in partnership with “the most innovative and forward-thinking company in the history of the world”.

Of course, Apple is the largest technology company in the world by revenue, as well as the largest company in the world by market capitalization. At the same time, Apple’s iPhone was one of the most innovative products when it was launched.

But for people outside the Apple ecosystem who may not have an Apple iPhone, the Apple and MLS embrace leaves Android users feeling left out.

Will MLS promote the MLS Season Pass to Android users?

Imagine for a minute if Google had acquired the streaming rights to Major League Soccer instead of Apple. Next, what if Google decides to make all games available only on the Android operating system, which it owns? You can imagine the cries of indignation from Apple fans.

But how much, if at all, should MLS care about Android usage?

At press time, Android accounts for about 45% of the US mobile operating system market, while iOS accounts for about 55%. More importantly, Android has a 72% market share among the Latin American community in the United States.

Therefore, as the Hispanic population continues to grow and viewership becomes more streaming-oriented, it is imperative that MLS address the concerns of Android users. Moreover, considering that no Spanish-language TV network is showing MLS games this season, the issue is even more problematic.

Anecdotally, most football fans I’ve spoken to who have Android phones think they won’t be able to watch MLS games anymore. This is not correct, because Android users can watch games on their devices using Android TV or their browser. And an Apple TV app for Android may be on the way. However, confusion among Android users is a widespread problem that needs to be addressed.

But will they? Will Major League Soccer make a concerted effort to appeal to an audience in direct competition with the products sold by its new partner? Or will Android users have to try to figure it out themselves?

The MLS Season Pass will launch on February 1, 2023.