Apple launched Apple TV+ about six months ago with a compelling proposition: Buy an Apple device and get a free year of the service. The standard price is just $4.99 per month.
Despite the offer — and selling tens of millions of devices over the last six months — just 10 million people have signed up for Apple TV+ since its launch, according to a report from Bloomberg. Just half of those sign-ups actively use the service.
MacDailyNews Take: Bloomberg quotes “people familiar with the matter” for those numbers. We wonder if those are the same people who told Bloomberg about hidden Chinese spy chips in products from Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies, which every single company denied categorically and about which Bloomberg has never issued a retraction.
Back in January, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple TV+ had a customer base of 33.6 million citing Ampere Analysis as their source. Last month, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives estimated that Apple TV+ had already amassed between 30-40 million subscribers.
Since the launch of Apple TV+, Apple has sold 100+ million devices that come with a year of Apple TV+ service included. Any rational person would conclude that many more that just 10 million people “have signed up” for Apple TV+. Anyone who believes just 5 million people actively use Apple TV+ — which is free to 100+ million users, most of whom have been cooped up for 2+ months starving for entertainment — will believe just about anything.
Apple’s paltry numbers highlight two challenges facing the fledgling streaming service. First, it doesn’t have content that drives mass audiences to sign up. There’s nothing on Apple TV+ that screams, “You gotta see this!”
MacDailyNews Take: That’s simply opinion based on obviously bad numbers from an anonymous source by a publication with a questionable track record.
In our opinion there are plenty of things on Apple TV+ that scream must-see (and which have already deservedly won significant awards, i.e. The Morning Show), including:
Seriously, just that one film cost Apple $70 million. Do you really think they going to blow $70 million to entertain just 5 million viewers. Puleeze. Even Steve Ballmer’s not that stupid.
Second, Apple’s content library is too thin to retain the subscribers it has. Even if a subscriber likes a series, there’s not much else for them to watch after they’ve finished it.
Apple is reportedly looking to build up its content library with some older films and television series.
MacDailyNews Take: Finally, after a bunch of poppycock based on blatantly bad numbers, we get to the only salient point in Levy’s piece: Apple knows they need content for the Apple TV+ library and, by all reports, they are looking to add content. Shocker.
Levy does make one other point: that Apple’s marketing efforts for the service have been anemic to date. With that we agree, but we also expect that to change.
You do not spend $70 million on a Tom Hanks feature film exclusive to simply release it without fanfare. You do not sign overall multi-million-dollar deals with the likes of Monica Beletsky, Alfonso Cuaron, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kerry Ehrin, Lee Eisenberg, Sharon Horgan, Jason Katims, Simon Kinberg, Justin Lin, Ridley Scott, Annie Weisman, and Oprah Winfrey and not market the service to which they’re contributing.
We expect Apple TV+ marketing to ramp up noticeably soon.