January 24, 2020
Since its Nov. 2, 2019 launch, Apple TV+ has largely remained in the shadows of high-profile Disney+, the latter generating 10 million app downloads in the first 24 hours following the service’s Nov. 12 debut.
Apple’s long-waited foray into branded streaming video, including original programming, was met with measured applause from analysts, many of whom dismissed the service for its minimal slate of original shows. Indeed, despite Apple’s reported free cash flow exceeding $200 billion, the company remains relatively modest spending about $1 billion on original content, including ndustry-award nominated “The Morning Show,” with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell.
Aniston picked up a SAG Award for “Morning Show” after leaving the Golden Globes empty-handed. The series about drama surrounding a morning television news show reportedly generated few viewers upon its launch — despite the stellar cast.
However, a Jan. 24 article in The Wall Street Journal about Amazon Prime Video being a platform for conspiracy theorists listed third-party data suggesting the Apple TV+ subscriber count actually exceeds Disney+ and Hulu — the latter including online TV service Hulu with Live TV.
In a chart through the fourth quarter 2019 from London-based Ampere Analysis, Apple TV+ is credited with having 33.6 million subs, compared to 31.8 million for Hulu and 23.2 million for Disney+. Neither company has officially disclosed subscriber data.
Disney and Apple both are giving access to their respective streaming platforms — the former through Verizon, and Apple offering its platform for free to any iPhone owner. How many of the aforementioned subs actually pay for service is unclear.
By comparison, Netflix’s market-leading 61.3 million subs and Prime Video’s 42 million subs represent paid members — the latter through anual and monthly Prime and Prime Video subscriptions.