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Apple's TV+ digital streaming service is expected to have a total of 36 million subscribers by the end of 2026, according to research firm Digital TV Research (via The Hollywood Reporter).

apple-tv-plus-banner.jpg

According to the research, Disney's wildly successful streaming service will overtake Netflix and reach 284.2 million subscribers by 2026. Netflix by comparison is expected to hit 270.7 million subscribers by that time. Amazon Prime Video is expected to grow to 243.4 million users.

Apple has never provided details on ‌Apple TV+‌ subscriber numbers in the two years since its digital streaming service began, so it's unclear how many new subscribers it would need to attract to reach 36 million over the next five years, but the research highlights Apple's continuing lack of market share compared to other streaming services.

Apple is still giving people who buy a new device a free year of service, in the hope that customers will opt to pay the $5 a month fee to continue to have access to Apple's content. Approximately half of ‌Apple TV+‌ subscribers are now believed to be paying for the service, with the other half still using a free trial period.

Meanwhile, Apple is working hard to bolster its selection of original movies and TV shows. For example, Apple has reportedly been telling studio executives that it is aiming to do more than 10 to 12 original movies per year for ‌Apple TV‌+. Apple has a limited number of high profile films already, including "Palmer," "Cherry," and "Greyhound," and sees it as a way to draw more people into Apple TV+.

Apple also intends to increase the amount of regular new content on ‌Apple TV+‌ in 2022, with at least one new item added per week, which is more than double the pace of new content in 2021. Still, it will be several years yet before ‌Apple TV+‌ has a catalog that can compete with other streaming services.

Apple reportedly abandoned its plans for a low-cost Apple TV dongle as a way to entice users to the service. The company is said to consider ‌Apple TV+‌ as a standalone business rather than a mechanism to encourage users to buy into the Apple ecosystem.

Article Link: Apple TV+ Expected to Reach 36 Million Subscribers By 2026, Far Short of Rivals
 

nt5672

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
2,396
5,143
With its nanny, run-of-the-mill, politically correct content who is surprised by this. The only reason there is content at all is because Apple is spending the big bucks.

Me, I want explosive, edgy content that challenges the status quo.
 

Phil77354

Contributor
Jun 22, 2014
1,145
975
Pacific Northwest, U.S.
Interesting. I have Apple TV+ as well as other streaming services, and I don't really consider the Apple TV+ to be a direct competitor to the Netflix and Hulu's of the world. Apple is also putting out considerably more unique product all the time, after what was likely viewed as a slow start.

The original programs are very good (Ted Lasso, Morning Show), it has some unique movies (Greyhound). I'm satisfied with it so far.
 

Ming_Mekka

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2021
1
4
They're a little late to the game and the content has an air of money thrown at it with big names but not necessarily good quality, a much more elusive thing. That said, it's also cheaper than some of its competitors and there is some stuff I want to check out such as Invasion (2021) and Foundation. The stuff I've tried hitherto has seemed a little twee or cliche so far.
 

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
6,268
31,761
Texas
A bit of math.
36,000,000 subscribers at $5 (and I am being generous as many use the free 1 year trial).
That's $180,000,000 monthly, or $2,160,000,000 annually.

Not really sustainable.
 
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Dwalls90

Contributor
Feb 5, 2009
5,201
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Considering it's a fraction of the price of Netflix, and almost all the content is top notch, I don't care about how many subscribers they have. Netflix has some great content too, but is mostly bloated with trash.

Apple has never been about driving volume, but rather quality. Sometimes less is more.
 
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deathcab

macrumors member
May 26, 2009
42
200
A bit of math.
36,000,000 subscribers at $5 (and I am being generous as many use the free 1 year trial).
That's $180,000,000 monthly, or $2,160,000,000 annually.

Not really sustainable.
I think Apple is more focused on maintaining customer engagement to keep people within the iOS/MacOS ecosystems as much as possible than they are on direct profitability with offerings like this and Fitness+.

There’s also the matter of potentially massive syndication/streaming fees for shows like Ted Lasso and the Morning Show that would help recoup some of the costs if TV+ ever folds.
 

progx

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2003
343
296
Pennsylvania
How is Apple TV+ competition toward Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or HBO Max? These places offer other content not original to the service. You could say Disney+ may be a competitor, but even that is stretching it.

Apple's video service stands apart as a service strictly for original content. They're not expecting people to drop other services for their own. Why do you think a lot of us are on extended trials? Or it's practically given away with $29.99 per year Apple One?

The service could garner millions more in the future, but it's going to take a very long time before we see it. So far, they offer some unique content and really higher quality series/movies.
 

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
6,268
31,761
Texas
I think Apple is more focused on maintaining customer engagement to keep people within the iOS/MacOS ecosystems as much as possible than they are on direct profitability with offerings like this and Fitness+.
No doubt about this, but they will have to demonstrate to the board and the investors than the plan is working. Throwing away money is somewhat frowned upon in some circles.
 

yaxomoxay

macrumors demi-god
Mar 3, 2010
6,268
31,761
Texas
I don't think Apple cares if it's sustainable. They'll give it away until one day it does become sustainable. Until then, it'll just be bundled and given away with other products and services. They're a two trillion dollar company, this is barely a ripple in their body of water.
I hope Apple learned to not be cocky back in the 1980's.
 

LiquidJay

macrumors member
Aug 28, 2020
51
142
How is Apple TV+ competition toward Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or HBO Max? These places offer other content not original to the service. You could say Disney+ may be a competitor, but even that is stretching it.

Apple's video service stands apart as a service strictly for original content. They're not expecting people to drop other services for their own. Why do you think a lot of us are on extended trials? Or it's practically given away with $29.99 per year Apple One?

The service could garner millions more in the future, but it's going to take a very long time before we see it. So far, they offer some unique content and really higher quality series/movies.
Agree. Although it might not take as long as expected. Simple fact -- content. If Apple TV + gets a movie/show that is must see ( ever more than say Ted Lasso) it changes the dynamic.

Some of this is just luck. Stranger Things, Queens Gambit, Lupin ... no one thought they would be hits, at least not to their degree. Ted Lasso is another perfect example and supports the saying "Content is King". Get the content, rule the kingdom. NO ONE has exclusive rights to the next diamond --- they have to find it.
 
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