“My suspicion is that Apple TV+ subscriber engagement is not where Apple wants it to be.”
From “Apple Extends TV+ Free Trial (Again)” sent Wednesday to Above Avalon subscribers:
Online reactions to this news were pretty negative. Many looked at Apple’s willingness to continue extending Apple TV+ free trials and offer additional monthly credits as a sign that Apple just isn’t convinced Apple TV+ is good enough to begin charging subscribers.
There is more to the story.
In my view, Apple TV+ content has been great. There hasn’t been a series or movie that I started that I didn’t end up enjoying and watching to the end. The problem for Apple is that there just isn’t a whole lot of content available… It’s still easy to list all of the shows and movies found on Apple TV+. That is impossible to do with a service like Disney+ and Netflix…
My suspicion is that Apple TV+ subscriber engagement is not where Apple wants it to be as millions of people begin seeing Apple TV+ charges appear on credit card statements. Instead, Apple is willing to eat up the cost found with giving away a few more months of Apple TV+ in order to lower the risk of millions of people unsubscribing (and not watching new Apple TV+ content).
It’s been hard to miss the lack of new content being rolled out for Apple TV+. The pandemic is playing a role here since TV and movie production was offline for a good portion of 2020. While every video content company has faced headwinds from the pandemic, Apple is feeling the harshest impact given the lack of a back catalog and its more curated content pipeline. For context, Netflix has more than 500 video titles either in post production or ready to launch. This includes having more than one new original film being released on a weekly basis.
In theory, as the amount of Apple TV+ content increases, engagement levels will improve and Apple will be in a better position to begin charging for Apple TV+. With that said, it should not come as a surprise that a growing number of people are wondering if Apple will ever charge for Apple TV+. The idea of giving Apple device buyers 12 months of Apple TV+ but letting the promotion roll over with every new hardware purchase is something that Apple has likely at least considered
My take: That’s nice for the roll-overs. Where’s Apple love for those of us who have been paying our way from the start?