Apple quietly reduced the one-year Apple TV+ free trial for customers who buy new Apple devices to three months.
The company made the change in a note on its Apple TV+ website. While customers who buy and activate an eligible device (that’s an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac) before July 1 will get the one-year trial, those who do so from July 1 onward will qualify only for three months.
Apple TV+ free trial slashed to 3 months
The one-year trial was extremely generous, although it also reflected the comparatively paltry amount of content available on Apple TV+ early on. While the quality was never in doubt, the lack of quantity meant multiple weeks where zero new content became available.
Other weeks, Apple TV+ added just a single episode of one show, meaning one hour or less. That didn’t compare favorably to services like Netflix and Disney+, which not only added plenty more new content regularly, but also delivered a strong back catalog. Apple has eschewed buying back catalogs of shows like, say, Friends in favor of concentrating on producing and buying wholly original content.
Whether that strategy will pay off in the long run remains to be seen. However, Cupertino is clearly now confident that Apple TV+ justifies the $4.99 per month price tag it charges. By the end of this year, it will have approximately 80 original shows and movies available to view.
Apple TV+ subscriber numbers remain a mystery
Apple still refuses to reveal exact subscriber numbers for Apple TV+. However, the streaming service likely lags far behind the industry’s heavy hitters. According to an April 2020 report by Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, Apple TV+ had, at that point, between 30 million and 40 million subscribers. However, Ives thought the “vast majority” were using the free trial.
Paring down that free trial to three months means Apple TV+ will need to convert many of these free-loading customers to paying subscribers. While I won’t hold my breath waiting for Apple to start releasing subscriber numbers, it will be interesting to see if this change ushers in any big changes at Apple TV+ as it tries to pull in more paying customers. The service is almost certainly a money loser for Apple right now.
Do you, or will you, pay five bucks a month for Apple TV+? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.