Analyst sticks finger in the air, decides there are 40 million Apple TV+ viewers

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

What you need to know

  • A Wedbush analyst thinks Apple TV+ numbers are looking good.
  • There could be up to 40 million subscribers right now.
  • But few of them are probably paying a cent.

Apple hasn't told anyone how many subscribers its Apple TV+ service has, but that isn't going to stop people from guessing. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives is the latest to have a go at it and he reckons up to 40 million subscribers could be in play already. But they won't all be paying.

In a note sent to clients and picked up by Cult of Mac, Ives says that the "vast majority" of Apple TV+ subscribers will be taking advantage of the free 12 months of service afforded by a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac purchase. So Apple probably isn't making tons of money. Yet.

Ives goes on to say that Apple might be able to add another 100 million subscribers to that 40 million number over the next three to four years. Again, it isn't clear from the Cult of Mac report quite where that number comes from. Maybe the note had tons of calculations in it? Hopefully – these kinds of things often impact share prices, after all.

While we're talking about numbers, Ives "also believes Apple is spending around $6 billion per year to create new content". That's good to know. I guess.

Ultimately none of this means a thing unless Apple tells us how many Apple TV+ subscribers it has. We might find out during Apple's Q2 2020 earnings call at the end of April, but again, probably not. Still, we can hope, right?

For context, Disney+ now has more than 50 million subscribers. Netflix? Only 174 million.

Oliver Haslam

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.