Apple TV+ has just a tiny fraction of the U.S. streaming video market, according to a market-research firm. Even nine months after its launch, it’s well behind well-established rivals like Netflix and even the other newcomer, Disney+.
During the second quarter of 2020, Apple hovered around 7% of American households that use streaming video services, according to data from MoffettNathanson.
By comparison, Netflix is in about 73% of households, Amazon Prime is in roughly 51% of households, and Hulu is in 36%. Disney+, which launched near the same time as Apple TV+, is in approximately 28% of households.
The launch of Apple’s and Disney’s services didn’t bring a noticeable drop in their rivals’ subscriber numbers. So Americans just subscribed to the newcomers without cutting previous ones.
Time for an Apple TV+ strategy re-think?
“The Apple TV+ data points should force Apple to reconsider their strategies and options at this point,” said Michael Nathanson, an analyst with MoffettNathanson.
Apple took a difference course than its rivals. They mix original content with libraries of previous shows and movies. But Apple offers only a collection of films and series it produced itself.
For years, analysts have been urging Apple to buy a movie studio — or even Netflix — to get its own library of classic content. The company has steadfastly resisted. As recently as February, Tim Cook said, “Apple TV+ is about original programming; it doesn’t feel right to just go out and take a rerun.”
And there have been successes. Greyhound, a feature film about World War II starring Tom Hanks, recently brought in the largest opening-weekend audience Apple has netted so far.