62% of Apple TV+ subscriptions are free, 29% won't pay when their trial ends

Apple TV+ Apple TV interface
Apple TV+ Apple TV interface (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report claims that 62% of Apple TV+ viewers are still getting the service for free.
  • A worrying 29% say they won't pay when their trial is up.

Apple TV+ recently saw its free trial extended again which is great news for customers and viewer numbers, but there's a problem – people just aren't going to pay once that trial comes to a close.

That's according to new numbers shared by MoffettNathan's Q4 2020 SVOD Tracker and Variety. In fact, 62% of Apple TV+ subscribers are still getting their content free of charge, while a massive 29% say that they have no intention of paying for Apple TV+ once their trial comes to an end.

While Apple doesn't say how many subscribers it has, it clearly knows that there's a problem here. Extending the free trial shows as much, with the presumption being that the company wants to get more content onto the service before people's deals end. But as Variety points out, it still has some way to go before it can compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney.

A big issue for Apple TV Plus is its very limited content lineup, compared with the thousands of titles available on other SVOD services. Currently, Apple TV Plus offers a total of 55 originals (11 drama series, six comedy series, 13 nonfiction series, 11 films and 14 family series and specials). Those include breakouts like "The Morning Show" and "Ted Lasso," but in terms of sheer tonnage, Apple TV Plus is far below the rest of the SVOD field.

Still, Apple has some big hitters working on Apple TV+ content right now with more presumably in the works that we don't know about yet.

Apple TV+ is a $4.99 per month subscription for those who aren't in on a trial at the moment. It's also available as part of the Apple One bundle, too.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

3 Comments
  • I think these numbers are better than I expected and actually pretty positive. Given buying a new device gets you free service, I’m surprised 38% of customers are paying for the service. Secondly if you get something for free, you expect a large number of those to not convert into sales when the trial ends, especially when the trial is so long that it’s a no brainer to sign up. 71% of trialists willing to pay is actually good. Finally, covid has meant that the content apple planned to have isn’t there. Oh and Apple One plans make TV a better sell.
  • I'm not as optimistic as you about TV+ unfortunately. I have tried it, along with News+ and Arcade and the value is not there for me. We'll see how it all shakes out since Apple has deep pockets and usually invests in things for the long-haul (unlike Google and Microsoft, though MS has been improving in this regard overall).
  • I've had Apple TV+ from the beginning and I don't intend to drop it. I'm cutting cable TV after the Super Bowl. I got an iPhone Pro Mac in November, and they keep telling me I get a free year, but of course I don't. I updated to Apple TV Now anyway, so Apple TV+ is in there already.