Apple has been tight-lipped about its subscriber numbers, but a new report from a showbiz union claims the company had less than 20 million TV+ subscribers in July
Apple has been relatively tight-lipped about how many subscribers its TV+ streaming service has, but a report from a showbiz union has shed light on the matter. According to a document provided by the union, Apple TV+ had less than 20 million subscribers as of July 2020. The report claims that this is significantly lower than Apple’s initial projections and is unlikely to meet their long-term goals for the service.
This report represents one of the few times that Apple has provided insight into their subscription numbers since launching TV+ in November 2019. Unfortunately, the tech giant has remained mostly silent on this subject, so this new data provides an interesting look into the state of their streaming service.
Apple claimed it had less than 20 million TV+ subscribers in July, showbiz union says
According to a report from a showbiz union, Apple claimed to have less than 20 million TV+ subscribers as of July 2020.
While the tech giant has been tight-lipped about its subscriber numbers, this report gives us an insight into the success of its streaming service. So let’s take a closer look.
Apple’s tight-lipped stance on its subscriber numbers
Despite its hardware market success, Apple has notoriously tight-lipped about its subscriber numbers. The company has never released official figures on Apple Music or any of its subscription services — including Apple TV+, launched in November 2019. But now a report from an entertainment union claims to have gleaned some information on those elusive numbers.
According to the report from SAG-AFTRA, a union that represents over 160,000 actors and other showbiz professionals, as of July 2020, Apple had less than 20 million subscribers for its streaming service, Apple TV+. This is significantly lower than reports of 50 million subscribers that had been widely reported prior.
The report also notes that while other streaming platforms such as Netflix have invested heavily in content creation and acquisition, Apple’s efforts have lagged significantly leading to lower viewer engagement and fewer subscriptions. It also points out that Apple’s reluctance to share official subscriber numbers has made it difficult for the entertainment industry to accurately assess the impact of the company’s presence in this market.
As such, Apple’s stance on keeping their subscriber numbers under wraps is unlikely to change anytime soon — despite increasing calls from industry professionals for more transparency from the tech giant.
Showbiz union report claims Apple had less than 20 million TV+ subscribers in July
A report from SAG-AFTRA, a powerful showbiz union, claims Apple had less than 20 million TV+ subscribers in July. The report is the latest available datapoint on the streaming service’s success since Apple has been tight-lipped about its subscriber numbers.
Apple launched its TV+ streaming service in late 2019, initially targeting 100 million television subscribers by 2020. However, that goal appears to have been revised significantly following reports of underwhelming adoption; even before SAG-AFTRA’s figures, there were reports that the company only had around 10 million subscribers as of April 2020.
The SAG-AFTRA report also states that Apple’s lowest-paid cast and crew make between $112 and $385 daily for their work on new shows — considerably lower rates than those paid by HBO Max, Netflix or Disney+. The move raises questions about whether these rates adequately compensate workers for their work or if many shows will struggle to attract talent due to their comparatively low pay. Overall, this latest report paints a picture of an ambitious but underperforming streaming service thus far — one with an unclear path to profitability any time soon.
Impact of Apple’s Low Subscriber Numbers
Apple has been keeping their numbers of TV+ subscribers close to their chest, but a new report from a showbiz union claims that the tech giant had less than 20 million subscribers in July. This news has stirred the tech industry and raised questions about its impact on Apple’s business model and its competitors.
Let’s explore the potential impacts that this news may have.
Low subscriber numbers could indicate a lack of interest in Apple’s streaming service
The low subscriber numbers associated with Apple’s streaming service could indicate the lack of interest in the service. While Apple has been tight-lipped about the exact numbers, a report from the showbiz union suggests that in July, they had fewer than 20 million TV+ subscribers. This number is lower than many analysts anticipated and casts doubt on the success of their new streaming service.
Apple has heavily marketed their new streaming service since its launch late last year, but it seems insufficient to attract a large enough audience. It also indicates that viewers may prefer services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime for their streaming needs instead of TV+. It remains to be seen how successful Apple’s new platform will compete with these already established platforms.
Furthermore, there are concerns that if Apple does not grow its subscriber base soon, it may suffer major losses in revenue due to its high licensing fees associated with creating content for TV+. Low subscriber numbers could also mean fewer resources devoted to creating new content and limited access to premium shows that could increase market share for Apple’s streaming service.
Impact on Apple’s share price
Apple unveiled its subscription-based content streaming service Apple TV+ in March 2019 and has since kept a tight grip on its subscriber numbers. As of late July 2020, the company had yet to provide an official report on how many subscribers it has acquired for TV+.
However, a recent Writers Guild of America West report claims that the tech giant had fewer than 20 million subscribers at that time. The news sent Apple’s share price down slightly, although it eventually rebounded shortly afterward.
The impact of these low subscription numbers is not fully known yet and only time will tell whether Apple’s much-hyped streaming service will become a success or not. Investors will likely keep an eye on future developments in this area as Apple continues competing with established industry players such as Netflix and Hulu.
Impact on other streaming services
The news of Apple’s low subscriber numbers comes as other top streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu boast impressive subscriber figures. With over 73 million paying subscribers worldwide and an estimated 31 million on domestic soil, Netflix has set the standard against which all other streaming services are measured. Amazon Prime Video is not far behind with an estimated 58 million devices accessing content worldwide in the second quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, Hulu had an estimated 32 million paid subscribers in July 2020.
While the 20 million figure from Apple pales compared to these established players in the space, its impact on them should be watched closely as 20 million people still represent a sizable audience for any streaming service. Some analysts believe that if Apple can grow its subscription base even further, rival services could have a substantial impact. Furthermore, due to their low reported numbers, it could potentially sway major content partners who were previously skeptical about Apple’s capacities in the streaming business.
The news of Apple’s low subscriber figures shows just how much ground it needs to catch up before it can become a real challenger to established titans like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video—not just in terms of subscribers but also when it comes to library selection and exclusive content offerings. However doubtlessly this step is in the right direction as they work towards becoming a major player in this space over time.