Why are so many skipping their free Apple TV+ trials?

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app with a seven-day free trial for new subscribers on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Apple TV (3rd generation), iPod touch and Mac. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch starting September 10, 2019 can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. So why are so few taking advantage of free Apple TV+ trials?

Eric J. Savitz for Barron’s:

free Apple TV+
Apple TV+ is home to the biggest directors and top stars
Apple didn’t directly provide a lot of detail on its latest earnings call on the progress of its streaming-video service. But Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi did some nifty math from the hints the company provided, finding that less than 10% of customers eligible for 12 months of free Apple TV+ have signed up.

The question, obviously, is why so few?

One possibility is that Apple has not been very effective in promoting Apple TV+… Another potential explanation, he adds, is that Apple is deliberately going slow on the rollout of the service, in part to mitigate the negative accounting effect of the ramp-up. “Apple may be deliberately scaling its promotions of TV+ slowly, so that the most concerted promotions didn’t begin until after [fiscal] Q1, when the negative accounting impact to GAAP profits would lessen,” he wrote. Note that new users have three months to activate the free trial, after which the offer expires.

MacDailyNews Take: Regardless of whether Sacconaghi’s guesstimate is right or not, interest in Apple TV+ will build and accelerate over time as Apple’s service basically started from a standing start. As shows grab awards and headlines, as the number of series and content builds up, and Apple ramps up promotion, the service will naturally grow thanks to the simple math of new devices being purchased, each with a potential free year of Apple TV+. This service was always destined to start slowly then build and build, gathering steam over time!


  1. I don’t think it’s a slow rollout, I think many people are not enamored with the content. there maybe a couple good shows, however IMHO that’s about it.

    Could be wrong.. guess we’ll find out later this year if millions don’t renew the freebie subs.. assuming there is actually a way to figure that out..

    1. I think we can summarize this as “its the content, stupid” /S … but ….

      But its really is more than just content, but the timing of content.

      The big difference between Apple and other players (Netflix; Disney) is that Apple just doesn’t have an existing huge catalog that perspective customers know that they can immediately go in and binge on…

      Without that existing ‘deep’ catalog, customers aren’t inclined to spend the time/effort (and money, eventually) to kick around some unknown (even if well-reviewed) new serial(s).

      Instead, the winning business model has been is to reel them with the deep library to binge, and then they’ll discover the new works (Hello, “Mandalorian”!) which are the hook to stick around.

      As such, until Apple TV has a big library as the initial, its going to be a “bag of pain” of slow subscriber growth. That’s why they can’t even get big uptake rates into their existing customer bases even when they literally are giving it away.

    2. Apple TV is a confusing mess. It offers me no value. I don’t watch TV, and want nothing to do with Jennier Aniston and other trash shows. So that content doesn’t work on me. The interface is terrible, I have no idea what “it” is, and why I’m supposed to use it. I fiddled with it and it’s worthless to me. I unsubscribed from the free trial, that’s how sucky Apple TV is to me.

    3. Agreed, and too much of the content is ‘woke’ preachy content. Hard pass. Concentrate on entertainment, and if you want to spread a political message, do it elsewhere.

      Hopefully many of the new shows on tap will focus on entertainment and keep the virtue shows to themselves.

    1. I agree with paty,
      1-My family got 3 elegible devices with no way of using at least 2 services (TV+ and arcade) even if arcade needed 2 elegible devices (like 50% off),
      2-it was not clearly stated how to redeem ( I needed to help my Dad and tow uncles )
      3-It is a mess because TV app shows a lot fo material with NO way to HIDE “pay for” material, so even if people have TV+, they don’t find the content. There should be a CLEAR top Menu with filters, and favorite services (to view the ones you pay for or are free).

  2. I son’t like ahows trying to preach to me. For All Mankind was the worst. Yeah, seem to be well made shows but the writing is sub par. Like Running Windows on your Mac. Hardware looks runs great but inside doesn’t really match.

  3. I signed up, realised there was nothing worth watching in about 5 mins, then promptly cancelled and deleted the app off my devices. I’m not the biggest TV watcher admittedly but the service just didn’t add anything worthwhile to my current mix of Netflix, Youtube and SBS On Demand.

        1. There just isn’t much of entertainment value. If you open up your window big and wide and look at everything there now, you don’t even want the free trial.

          It’s the whole “go woke go broke” thing. Just as I get ready to click The Morning Show, I see those people, I recall their political statements, I realize that their multiple awards come from within their socio/political/bubble and my face begins to wrinkle, and I just don’t have the energy to be insulted for an hour, or watch an hour’s worth of propaganda.

          Among all the people in the world, 3 types have dirt shit respect for me. Actors/entertainers, professional news casters, and politicians. Last thing in the world I want to see is a program concerning them. I’d rather watch vomit swirling in a toilet these days.

          Those 3 types of folks use their vast control of mainstream media to regularly paint unflattering caricatures of me. That is their right, but I just don’t have the energy or desire to watch.

          Like most people, I’d like to pour a glass of wine, flip open the iPad, and smile for a few moments in the evening. Instead I have to watch people who are richer than God tell me I’m a selfish, racist, homophobic, undesirable. I.e.thismis for the intellectual elite. You are not welcome here. Or I accidentally turn in CNN and instead of a single item of news there is nothing but anti-Trump propaganda and a trio of talking heads literally laughing and joking and demonstrating how stupid people like me are.

          The message is clear. Change the channel. You are not welcome here.

          1. Another truly brilliant summary by Thelonious, I’m serious. You have nailed my reaction to the offerings perfectly. If these self-important and under-educated dopes had kept their mouths shut about political feelings and not tried to bowl us over with their pedantic (ala Al Gore, anyone?) “superior thinking” (they are legends in their own minds and those of their ilk), and stuck with their talents and gifts instead then ithey wouldn’t anger millions of potential viewers who haven’t forgotten having been insulted on world-wide TV awards programs. We geezers have many decades of life experience and we don’t just ignore painfully learned insights and wisdom just because some highly paid pretenders confuse their popularity with being truly smart. They will never persuade us to abandon our survival and safety protections nor entrust them with the same.

  4. With the iPhone 11 Plus Max came a free year. Before I committed to any of the series, I looked for reviews. Turns out the material is politically correct and preachy. I couldn’t find anything that is salvageable, though I tried. So we haven’t watched a single minute of Apple stuff.

    1. You haven’t watched a “single minute minute of Apple stuff” and you “couldn’t find anything that is salvageable”, though you tried??? So you let other’s reviews shape your opinion… Perfect, can’t see anything wrong with that logic.

      1. Look, my confirmation bias is only reinforced by the large majority of replies to this thread: people don’t like Apple’s stuff and for good reason. Truth be told, we also have Amazon Prime Video (comes for free with Prime) and Netflix (brother has give us for free one of his three logins) and we hardly ever watch anything as most of it is also unwatchable dreck.

        Having said that, last week re-watched The Lord of the Rings on either Netflix or Amazon. Can’t remember which one.

  5. Psst – because it sucks. I don’t care how big budget they are, or what Hollywood shills at the Emmys desperate to appear relevant in the 21st century say – their shows aren’t good. Whatever made them think they were the right ones to do this probably leads directly back and exclusively to Eddie Cue. To be fair, neither are the other streaming services’, but they have all those licenses, see. We are beginning to see the effect of Silicon Valley hubris on ‘cord cutting’ (which is shaping up to be worse than cable TV). I’ll pass, and my Arcade membership is likely next, the regular app store is better and cheaper in the long run, at least currently.

  6. It was never going to be any good even in the best of times HBO had at most two shows worth watching in any calendar year for most of the last twenty years…..

  7. Activating the subscription wasn’t exactly straightforward. So I guess a lot of people haven’t go to it.
    Hell maybe a lot of people haven’t found the Apple TV app yet.

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