Report: 6 months in, Apple TV+ and Disney+ are both flying high

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

What you need to know

  • Apple TV+ and Disney+ are both six months old.
  • A new report has both performing well.
  • A survey of 10,000 users shows subscribers are also Netflix viewers.

Both Apple TV+ and Disney+ have celebrated their first six months of life already and both are reportedly doing very nicely indeed. That's according to a new survey conducted by Parks Associates with 10,000 people questioned. The numbers are promising, with Disney+ commanding a 25% market share and Apple TV+ sat at 10%.

The pair make up the top five streaming services, beaten out by the big three – Netflix, Amason Prime Video, and Hulu. That's not a bad return at all, especially considering that it's unlikely any Apple or Disney execs expected to best them.

Other interesting tidbits that came out of the survey include:

  • Nearly three in ten broadband households report their use of online video services has increased because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 81% of Disney+ subscribers subscribe to Netflix, as do 72% of Apple TV+ subscribers.
  • Nearly one-half of Disney+ subscribers canceled another OTT service over the last 12 months, as did roughly two-thirds of Apple TV+ subscribers.

The news that subscribers see Netflix as the number one must-have and then add Apple TV+ or Disney+ to the mix shouldn't be all that surprising given the foothold it already has in the market. But it does indicate that subscribers acknowledge that the content available on the newcomers' services is enough to warrant an extra subscription.

"Disney took a broad-based content approach to its Disney+ service, including its Pixar, Stars Wars, Marvel, Nat Geo, and 20th Century Fox properties to make it broadly appealing, far beyond its traditional audience of families with young children," said Steve Nason, Research Director, Parks Associates. "Very few Disney+ subscribers subscribe only to this service, so households are not picking up Disney in place of another service but adding to their home's other OTT services. We will see, as household budgets tighten up, if Disney+ has done enough to become an 'essential service' for its subscribers."

Apple's approach of having its own first-party content at launch stood it in good stead. As did offering a year's subscription free to all Apple hardware buyers.

"Apple TV+ promoted a small stable of original programming and is now looking to supplement that with more third-party content," Nason said. "Apple TV+'s growth is due largely to a free year of service for those who recently purchased an Apple device, which brings the firm's brand loyalists into the service. Apple TV+ does have a higher percentage of exclusive non-Netflix subscribers, plus a higher number of households that recently cancelled another OTT service, so it appears Apple does have a core group of dedicated subscribers. Apple's challenge is to expand beyond that group."

The real test comes when that free year comes to a close.

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.