Apple TV+ has roughly 40M subs, half paying, says report

Tim Cook Apple TV+
Tim Cook Apple TV+ (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A previous report claims that Apple TV+ has 40M subscribers.
  • A new inside report says this figure is pretty accurate, and that half of those are paying for the service.
  • Apple reportedly plans to spend $500 million marketing the service this year.

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.

The revelation was made in the context of a piece assessing the streaming service, and also reveals that Apple reportedly wants to spend more than $500 million marketing Apple TV+ this year. According to the report some Hollywood figures are upset that Apple won't market its shows on either Instagram or Facebook, but notes Apple has compensated by expanding Apple TV beyond its own hardware to devices like the PlayStation 5 and the best TVs for Apple TV 2021.

The report also reveals that an Apple TV dongle akin to the Amazon Fire TV stick is now off the table and that the executive in favor of the move, Timothy Twerdahl, had recently left the company. The idea was also reportedly quashed by other execs:

But two longtime Apple marketing executives, Greg Joswiak and Phil Schiller, overruled Twerdahl, said the person familiar with the discussions. They didn't want Apple getting into the business of making cheap, low-margin devices, and they were concerned that putting Apple's brand on them would tarnish its reputation for building premium products. In the end, Apple decided it was comfortable developing an app for Apple TV+ that worked on hardware products from Samsung, Roku, Amazon and others, even if they were relatively inexpensive.

The report also reveals that Apple did not make an official bid for MGM studios and that it did try for the NFL's Sunday Ticket package, with an offer around $900 million less than the $1.5B DirecTV currently pays.

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