This is Why Disney+ Has More Subscribers Than Apple TV+


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Disney+ and Apple TV+ both entered the world of streaming services last November, but so far one is doing better than the other. As of May 4, 2020, Disney+ boasts a subscriber base of 54.5 million and a huge content library. On the other hand, Apple TV+ might not be as thriving. While the Fruit has yet to release an official subscriber count for the first part of 2020, new data from Parks Associates shows Apple’s streaming service is less than half as popular as the Mouse House.

According to Parks, Disney+ and Apple TV+ rank 4th and 5th on the SVOD totem pole. Unsurprisingly, Netflix reigns supreme in the number one spot, followed by Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Disney+ has an adoption rate of 25% among U.S. broadband households, while Apple TV+ only has 10% adoption, according to Parks.

So why is there such a difference in adoption between the two services that launched within 20 days of each other? There may be a few reasons. Disney+ burst onto the scene with a robust content catalog, including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic programming. with a $6.99 price tag, subscribers get access to new originals to spark their interest, as well as historic Disney favorites that have stood the test of time. As a streaming service, having content people love to watch time and time again is definitely a strong point. Plus, most of Disney’s content is attractive to all ages – adults, parents, teens, and children alike.

“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,” research director Steve Nason said in a statement. “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.”

In contrast, Apple TV+ launched with a much smaller catalog that mainly adults will find appealing. It may be cheaper than it’s Disney competitor at $4.99/month, but a heavy binge-watcher can power through all of its content relatively quickly, and never go back for seconds.

“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.”

Both streaming services also used tactics to get unpaid subscribers in the beginning in hopes of converting them into paying customers. For instance, Apple TV+ offered a free subscription for one year to buyers of Apple devices, and Disney gave away annual memberships to Verizon customers.

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