As time has proven with many different services and products, simply handing out something for free doesn’t necessarily mean people will use it. In this day and age, almost every service out there has at least a free trial period, and given how much content is vying for our attention, there were bound to be some services out there who weren’t able to reel in a hefty install base. That may very well be the case for Apple TV+ — at least for now, and according to one specific source.
Deadline reports that Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi made a series of calculations based on Apple’s fourth-quarter report and management commentary. The figure he came up with was 10%. That’s 10% of Apple device owners who qualified for a one-year free offer of Apple TV+ didn’t even sign up for it.
I’ll repeat that. All customers that purchased new editions of Apple devices from September 10 to November 1 of last year qualified for one full year of Apple TV+. That offer expired this last Friday, and of all those who purchased devices, only 10% took that free offer.
I have to admit, I’m shocked. Sure, I knew that, compared to Disney+ — which brought in 10 million sign-ups its first day — that Apple TV+ was small potatoes, but that they couldn’t even get users from their eligible install base to sign up is a bit surprising.
So, what does this mean? Sacconaghi speculates one of three scenarios. 1: Apple has failed to effectively market its service. 2: Apple is reporting conservative numbers. 3: Apple TV+ simply isn’t resonating with customers enough to bother.
Honestly, I do think it’s a mixture of the first and third points. Not only does the service not have any legacy offerings, but a lot of what it has to offer is “prestige” content. It’s stuff that film buffs like us enjoy, but not necessarily something that’s going to drive massive subscription sales. There’s no Game of Thrones. No Stranger Things. No real geek-friendly mainstream content. It’s as if they created the service for awards contenders, all the while forgetting that awards contenders simply don’t pay the bills or attract mainstream eyeballs.
Personally, there’s enough content on there to interest me, but I’m waiting for everything to fill out a bit more before I subscribe, and when I do sign up, I imagine it would only be a limited window as I consume everything that interests me.
What do you think of Apple’s numbers? Is this a sign of bad things to come or just to be expected from a brand-new service? Let us know your own thoughts down below!
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