90 million or bust? Streaming TV’s great subscriber race begins with Apple TV+, Disney+, and many more

As Apple, Disney, Comcast, and others bet big on direct-to-consumer services with lofty membership goals, some analysts are concerning about a marketplace that’s quickly getting crowded.

Natalie Jarvey and Paul Bond for The Hollywood Reporter:

When Disney+ launches Nov. 12, the new streaming service will begin what Disney CEO Bob Iger hopes is a quick journey to at least 60 million subscribers by the end of 2024. Six months later, on a still-to-be-announced date in May, HBO Max will take off on its own sprint to hit at least 75 million subscribers in 2025.

But with four new offerings — Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock — flooding the market over the next year, it’s anyone’s guess how customers will respond to the glut of choices, especially as the cost of several subscriptions mounts.

[Disney+] seeks to hit between 60 million and 90 million members (and reach profitability) in the next five years… Apple and NBCUniversal have yet to publicly set subscriber goals for their offerings, though each company expects to have built-in a membership base. For Apple, its TV+ is a perk designed to entice people to buy new devices. With a user base of 1.4 billion — and 900 million iPhones on the market — the $5-a-month service has the potential to gain traction among existing Apple customers… [as] the tech giant is offering a year free to customers who upgrade qualifying Apple devices.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month, “Apple TV+, at just $4.99 per month, doesn’t have to disrupt Netflix by taking subscribers; it’s additive. Most people who already subscribe to Netflix will simply add Apple TV+, not drop Netflix for it. Many, tens of millions in the first year alone, will get Apple TV+ for free with the purchase of any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac!”

With Apple TV+, it’s all going to be quite okay. Apple’s service will have multiple series that build a following the size of which will quickly surprise most observers.

Apple TV+ will be a massive success and, at $4.99/month, if Apple just leaves the price alone for three years, the company will have 100+ million paying subscribers with 36 months from launch. — MacDailyNews, October 23, 2019


  1. I’d love to know the internal Apple metrics for success, since turning a profit will take many, many, many years with a $5 per month subscription fee. (Not to mention the free year for Apple hardware purchases.) Unless, perhaps, they can produce a movie which runs in theaters and is a complete blockbuster.

    1. I don’t think realizing a profit will take as long as people think. Considering they are not paying any liscensing fees for content and not only are making money off their own content but I’m sure they are getting kick backs from people that use Apple TV+ to subscribe the the Chanel’s they offer.

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