Apple has not released official subscription numbers for its TV + streaming service since its launch in 2019, but it may be lower than previously estimated analysts. According to CNBC, the technology giant told the International Theater Workers Association that TV + has less than 20 million subscribers in the US and Canada. A few months ago, the Statistician published an estimate that the number of subscribers to the service will increase to 40 million by the end of 2020 in the United States alone.
The company acknowledged, however, that the assessment “does not necessarily reveal how many subscribers pay for the service.” CNBC did not say whether the 20 million subscribers the company said were paying customers. It is also not mentioned how many of them received subscriptions for free: Apple gave year-round subscriptions to customers buying new iPhones, iPads and Macs, but cut the offer to three months in June.
According to the report, less than 20 million subscribers enabled Apple to pay the production team lower rates than larger streamers. According to the current contract he saw CNBC, streaming services can pay lower rates to their employees if less than 20 million subscribers sign up for IATSE every July 1, as streaming profitability is “currently uncertain”. The union is negotiating a better deal, as current rules are no exception for tech giants like Apple. It is also argued that streaming can no longer be considered “new media”.
An Apple spokesman said CNBC that the company pays in line with leading streaming services, but declined to comment on the required number of subscribers. 20 million is just a fraction of the number of subscribers to the largest streaming services: Netflix requested 208 million subscribers in April, while Disney + requested more than 100 million in March.
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