Apple claimed TV+ had less than 20M U.S. and Canada subs in July, says report

Apple Tv 4k Review
Apple Tv 4k Review (Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report says Apple claimed it had less than 20M U.S. and Canadian subscribers in July.
  • That's according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
  • They say this means Apple can pay discounted rates for behind-the-scenes workers.

A new report says that Apple has less than 20M Apple TV+ subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.

From CNBC:

Apple claimed its TV+ service had less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of July, allowing it to pay behind-the-scenes production crew lower rates than streamers with more subscriptions, according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union that represents TV and movie workers who perform jobs like operating cameras and building sets.

Apple has never revealed how many TV+ subscribers it actually has, but a recent report said that estimates of 40M worldwide are accurate. From that report:

A new report into Apple TV+ claims that a previous estimate of 40M subscribers is roughly accurate, and that half of those are paying customers.According to The Information:Analysts previously estimated that the service had around 40 million subscribers at the end of last year, a figure a person with knowledge of the numbers said remained roughly accurate as of this summer. Approximately half of the subscribers are paying for the service, while the others are on free trial periods, this person said.

It seems plausible if Apple has about 40M Apple TV+ subscribers, that around half of them would be located in North America and Canada. As CNBC notes, the distinction is important because having less than 20M subscribers allows Apple to pay cheaper rates to behind the-scenes-workers:

The fact that Apple can pay a discounted rate despite being the most valuable publicly traded company in the world highlights some of the issues facing Hollywood workers as streaming supplants linear TV and movies, and is raising ire among union members who are deciding whether to strike for better pay and working conditions.

The rates are determined on July 1 every year, and a spokesman for the Union said Apple had declared it had less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada this year.

An Apple spokesperson told the outlet the company "pays rates in line with leading streaming services."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9