'Greyhound' brought a huge number of Apple TV+ trials but few stayed on

Tom Hanks Greyhound
Tom Hanks Greyhound (Image credit: Apple TV+)

What you need to know

  • New research shows that people aren't hanging around once Apple TV+ trials end.
  • People are leaving Apple TV+ once they have watched high-profile content like Greyhound.

Apple TV+ has some big-name hits but it turns out that the people who sign up to trials to watch them rarely stick around and actually pay anything.

One sug hit is the Tom Hanks movie Greyhound and new research by subscriber-measurement company Antenna, seen by The Wall Street Journal, suggests that as many as 60,000 people signed up to watch the movie when it premiered on July 10, 2020. However, fewer than 50% of those sign-ups hung around beyond the first six months.

Greyhound Apple Tv Plus Subscribers

Greyhound Apple Tv Plus Subscribers (Image credit: Antenna)

Apple TV+ is far from the only streaming service to struggling with retention following a trial like this. Numbers show that Disney + suffered similarly following the the debut of Hamilton, for example.

All streaming services see a portion of U.S. customers unsubscribe every month and have been signing up more users than they lose over time. But viewers who join a service right after a big release tend to leave significantly faster than the average streaming customer, according to an analysis of Antenna data.

The trick for streaming services is to get people on board with high-profile shows or movies and then keep them with a trickle of new content. That's something Netflix has been able to do thanks to the sheer amount of shows, documentaries, and movies on offer.

Apple has never said how many people subscribe to its streaming service but as popular as some of its shows have been, few would argue that its subscriber numbers are as healthy as the likes of Netflix, for example. That being said, priced at just $4.99, Apple TV+ is great value especially when bundled in with other Apple services via the Apple One subscription.

Antenna says that its numbers come from a sample of five million customers located in the United States.

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.