Apple TV+ misses out on big COVID-19 surge in streaming demand


LG UM6X UHD in room
Sorry, Apple.
Photo: LG

It’s a surprise to no one that video streaming services are seeing big surges in demand while everyone is stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it seems Apple TV+ is missing out.

While the likes of Netflix, HBO Now, and Disney+ have seen sharp increases in subscribers in recent weeks, according to a new report, the number of people turning to Apple TV+ has hardly risen at all.

“Between Saturday, March 14, 2020, and Monday, March 16, 2020, the number of Disney+ signups more than tripled compared to the same period from the week prior,” reveals Forbes after obtaining the data.

The rise coincides with school closures and other restrictions across the United States, and it’s the biggest gain Disney+ has seen since it made its debut last November. It’s not exclusive to Disney+, though.

Video streaming services see big spikes

Netflix enjoyed an impressive 47% increase in subscribers during the same period — a substantial number given the service already has more than 61 million paying users — the report adds.

Showtime saw a 78% increase, while HBO Now enjoyed a massive 90% rise in its subscriber numbers. There’s no word on the impact COVID-19 has had on Amazon Prime Video just yet.

Sadly, Apple TV+ has missed out on these massive surges. Its subscriber numbers did see a slight increase of 10%, but that’s “the lowest of any of the major streaming service,” Forbes notes.

A trend that likely to continue

The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of improving in most countries; the number of cases and deaths continues to rise at alarming rates in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere.

It’s likely video streaming services will continue to see big increases in subscriber numbers over the coming months, then. Apple could see bigger benefits by rolling out new content as quickly as possible.

What we won’t know until all this is over is how many people hold onto their subscriptions. These are temporary boosts, and many could ditch their subscriptions when they go back to work or their free trials end.


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