Apple has been pretty cautious when it comes to revealing the number of subscribers for its Apple TV Plus streamer, so it may come as a surprise to learn that the platform is said to have less than 20 million paying users in North America. North.
Last week, CNBC reported that a spokesperson for the International Theater Employees Alliance said Apple informed the union of its number of subscribers in July 2021, a figure that the law said would allow the company paying behind-the-scenes production crews at lower rates than those working on Netflix or Disney Plus shows.
This is because these two rival streamers are boasting around 74 and 38 million subscribers in North America, respectively, which means that they are forced to pay production teams a salary that reaches a certain threshold.
The Alliance of Film and Television Producers (of which Apple is a part) “does not create exclusions for specific companies,” according to a spokesperson for the industry group mentioned in the report, and Apple itself has since claimed. that the company pay rates equivalent to those paid to workers on other streamers.
Union negotiations aside, this mysterious figure of “less than 20 million” reveals a relatively new streaming service whose health is uncertain.
Analysis: unfair comparisons?
Obviously, less than 20 million paying subscribers in the United States – which could mean between one and 19 million – is not comparable to Netflix, and the figure equivalent to 38 million people from Disney Plus could just as well. well be double that of Apple TV. Plus, but the playing field is not a level one.
The former, for example, has spent nearly a decade building its now impressive library of content on the back of the pedigree that exists in the DVD rental market, while the latter has spat out mind-blowing sums of money on May. – to be the two most valuable IPs in movie history (Star Wars and Marvel, for reference), which virtually guaranteed a large number of paid subscribers at launch. Releasing the Disney Animation Library has also provided Disney Plus with tremendous value and an easy sell.
In comparison, it’s worth remembering that Apple TV Plus relies exclusively on original content. That means there aren’t any old movies or existing TV shows in its library, but rather completely new (read: completely untested) content like Ted Lasso, Mythic Quest, and Foundation.
We recently delved into the importance of the latest Apple TV shows in more detail, and while these subscriber numbers arguably don’t reflect the quality of the streamer’s content, it’s still very impressive to see a platform of under two (it launched in November 2019) boast such a diverse library of quirky properties.
Apple TV Plus is unlikely to ever catch up with Netflix when it comes to subscriber numbers, this has long been clear, and even with Disney Plus reportedly. struggling to add more US customers in 2021, its roster of upcoming movies and TV shows will ensure hysteria-level interest in its content for years to come.
That being said, Apple deserves credit for pushing its burgeoning streamer as far as it has in such a short period of time, and the imminent arrival of even more original content should see its number of hits. subscribers become a bit more pleasing to the eye in the not too many. far future.