While Apple TV+ seems to be having pretty good success as a streamer, recent data shows the platform finished out Q4 of 2020 with most of its subscribers using the free promo offer.
In case you’re not familiar with the promotion, Apple offers 1 year of Apple TV+ for free when you purchase an Apple device. The company recently extended the offer to apply to purchases made through July 2021. The plan is to introduce users to the streaming service for free and then retain them as paying customers once the trial is up.
According to MoffettNathan’s Q4 2020 SVOD Tracker report, 62% of Apple TV+ subscribers are still utilizing the free trial. What’s more, 29% of those users said they don’t plan on renewing their subscription after their free trial ends. Only 30% plan to keep their subscription for $4.99/ month, and the rest said they’re unsure.
Disney+ has a similar free promotional offer for Verizon customers, but the people taking them up on it only make up 16% of the platform’s subscribers. Of those, 48% say they plan to continue their subscription after the promotional offer ends, with only 19% still up in the air.
Although Apple offers a free year to Apple TV+ with the purchase of a new device, it’s not an offer that many people will keep qualifying for. There are only so many Apple devices users can buy on a regular basis. And even if they did, they still wouldn’t be paying Apple TV+ subscribers.
“We remain concerned about future subscriber churn if there is a slow device cycle and users choose not to renew on their own,” the MoffettNathanson team, led by senior analyst Michael Nathanson, wrote in the report. They go on to say that while Disney and WarnerMedia have been “clear about strengthening their respective content offerings, it seems Apple is still not all-in on making Apple TV Plus originals a focal point.”
Apple TV+ does have some tentpole originals on the platform like The Morning Show, See, Ted Lasso, Dickinson, The Servant and more. There’s also quite a bit of star power fueling the shows, including Bill Murray, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey to name a few.
The streamer also has quite a few new titles in the works including a Billie Eilish documentary and Justin Timberlake starring in Palmer, the story of a former college football phenom named who returns to his hometown after doing time in prison.
But unlike Netflix, Disney+, and more, there’s hardly a long list of releases every month, and maybe that’s keeping people from going all-in on the streaming service, even if it’s just $5 a month.