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 had a service call to a new client today ( I provide onsite technology services) needing help with his Macs, iPad, and a new iPhone 11. I pointed out the free offer for Apple TV+ due to his iPhone 11 purchase. He then had me take him thru the steps to sign up but his free subscription required him to add a credit card to his iCloud account which is something he is unwilling to do. He doesn’t need any paid apps and doesn’t yet need more than the 5GB of free iCloud space. So he decided he could take a pass on Apple TV+.

    1. We travel, a lot. My account has a credit card, but my wife’s does not, purposefully. This way we can freely change her country App store, and quite often access apps not available in the U.S. store. It’s paid off for us numerous times in numerous countries.

      Mine, on the contrary, is locked hard to the U.S. because if I try to change the country, it asks me to input a means of payment of the new country.

  2. I enjoyed Servant 1 season so far. I watched 1 1/2 episodes of See before I gave that up due to the ridiculousness of it. I’ll keep it for the free year but after that, nah.

  3. I just received a 1 year subscription and honestly I find it worthless. There are a handful of shows I can watch, but from what I see or want to see 80%+ require an additional rental fee on top of the membership. Not sure what the 9.99 per month gets you. Apple blew this one when you compare it with the other services out there. Lousy offering and interface. Swing and a miss here. Very disappointed.

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