Even a free one-year subscription to a streaming service can’t entice customers to subscribe to Apple TV+. Apple’s streaming platform was offered for free for one year to all Apple device owners upon its launch in November 2019, a deal that fewer than 10% of Apple customers have taken up. Looks like customers aren’t biting on Apple TV+.
Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimates that fewer than 10% of Apple device owners eligible for the company’s one-year free offer have subscribed to Apple TV+, reports Deadline. Sacconaghi arrived at the figure “through a series of calculations based on the tech giant’s fourth-quarter report and commentary from management.” However, Apple stock maintains a “market perform,” or neutral rating.
Here is the rest of Sacconaghi’s findings, per Deadline:
In a note to clients, Sacconaghi said the low adoption of Apple TV+, even among those who can get it for free, could have three plausible explanations. Scenario 1: Apple hasn’t succeeded in its promotion of the service, as it juggles it with marketing a range of other new services and devices. Scenario 2: Apple may be “conservatively estimating its ‘take rate’ or deliberately scaling its promotions of TV+ slowly to mitigate the negative accounting impact of its early ramp,” the analyst wrote. Scenario 3: Apple TV+ is simply “failing to resonate with customers, perhaps due to its limited content offerings.”
Apple’s installed base is 1.5 billion devices. The company offered a free year of Apple TV+ for those who bought the newest editions of its devices between September 10 and November 1 of last year, with the offer expiring last Friday. Regular subscriptions are $5 a month.
This comes as no surprise to anyone keeping up with the ongoing streaming wars. Apple TV+ received a quiet launch in November with so little fanfare that many Apple device owners were unaware that the streaming platform was even available. It could hardly compete with the streaming behemoth Disney+, which launched in the same month and had at its disposal thousands of both original and classic titles. Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t have the benefit of a library of licensed fare, unlike fellow newcomer services like Disney+, and the upcoming platforms from NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia. Apple TV+’s new shows like See, Dickinson, and For All Mankind received mixed to positive reviews, while only one of its shows, the star-studded Morning Glory, received any awards buzz.
Does this sound the death knell for Apple TV+? Probably not for now, as Apple remains one of the most lucrative companies in the world and can likely continue bankrolling its streaming platform for a little while longer. But it certainly doesn’t paint a promising future for Apple TV+.
On Friday, April 3, Apple TV+ releases all 10 episodes of the first season of its mystery-thriller “Home Before Dark.” Inspired by the life of Hilde Lysiak, a young journalist who gained national notoriety at age nine when she scooped a local homicide case in her Pennsylvania hometown, the Jon M. Chu-directed and executive produced series has already been renewed for a second season.
Created and executive produced by Dana Fox and Dara Resnick, “Home Before Dark” follows Brooklynn Prince as Hilde Lysko, a nine-year-old journalist whose family's cross-country move from New York to her father's Jim Sturgess small Washington hometown leads her to investigate a dark, deeply buried mystery from decades ago.
IndieWire spoke with “Home Before Dark” co-showrunner and co-creator Dana Fox about the series, from the process of making a bingeable mystery-thriller she hadn’t seen before to her transition from comedy to drama to the unexpected “Justified” reunion.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
Joy Gorman Wettels, Jim Sturgess, Dana Fox, Brooklynn Prince, Hilde Lysiak, Jon M. Chu, Dara Resnik at the Winter 2020 TCA Press Tour
Getty Images/David Livingston/Stringer
IndieWire: How exactly did you come to co-create “Home Before Dark”? How did you come to Hilde Lysiak’s story?
Fox: Basically, my dear friend Joy Gorman Wettels, who’s an amazing producer — she was my manager for a long time and then she started producing, as well — she was at the Tribeca Awards, and there were a bunch of adults winning awards for cool things. And then, this little nine-year-old girl stood up and gave this incredible speech and was incredibly poised. She started talking about the need for journalists and how important it was to try to find the truth, and it really resonated with Joy. We weren’t even deeply in the times that we are in now, but it’s something that was feeling important already.
And so Joy was talking to the people next to her about how extraordinary this little girl was, and it turned out to be Hilde’s parents. So she joked, “I have a five-year-old, can you come move in with me, and help me raise my daughter, because this girl is amazing.” And so they struck up a conversation, they got along, and eventually, Hilde was featured in the New York Times for essentially scooping her local paper on a murder.
Joy was in a very competitive situation with a lot of other producers and they were all talking to Hilde and her parents on the phone and they had all these conversations. Joy ended up winning the rights and when she did, afterwards she said, “Why did you pick me?” And Hilde’s...