Apple TV+ starts to build an audience

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Chris Evans plays a conflicted district attorney in Defending Jacob on Apple TV+.
Chris Evans’ star power helped make Defending Jacob a breakout hit for Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple

Although the shows that debuted on Apple TV+ in 2019 didn’t didn’t become hits, the ones the streaming service introduced in 2020 are generally grabbing more attention, according to a market-research firm.

Top shows on Apple TV+

Parrot Analytics told Business Insider that the Apple TV+ show that performed the best is the crime drama Defending Jacob starring Chris Evans. After launching last spring, it drew an average of 29.5 times as much demand as a typical series in its first 60 days. It took off with a strong start, and mostly held onto its audience.

Another crime drama — Truth Be Told, which stars Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul — pulled in 25.2 times the average demand for TV series after its debut, according to Parrot Analytics. Apple TV+’s creepy Servant did nearly as well with 22.2 times typical demand.

Which isn’t to say no one watched any of the series that debuted on Day One of Apple’s streaming service. The sci-fi epic See starring Jason Momoa pulled in 22 times typical demand in its first two months. For All Mankind, another sci-fi series, pulled in 19.3 times. And the critically acclaimed The Morning Show got 17.8 times.

Ted Lasso got off to a weak start in summer 2020, but viewership has grown steadily through word of mouth.

Ranking viewership of Apple TV+ shows. Some Apple TV+ shows are reportedly doing well.
Some Apple TV+ shows are reportedly doing well.
Photo: Parrot Analytics

Apple TV+ exhibited faith in all its shows by renewing almost every one of them for a second season. The exception is Defending Jacob, which was always meant to be a limited series.