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Apple TV+ Outpacing Disney+ on Subscribers, According to New Data


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Apple TV+ has attracted more subscribers than Disney+, according to the latest data. Over the past few weeks, much of the talk has been about Disney+ and its momentum which has seen millions of subscribers signing up. However, it looks like Apple TV+ may not have only been doing as good as Disney+ without the same level of scrutiny, but actually better.

Apple TV+ launched in the U.S. on November 1, 2019 and this was followed by Disney+ on November 12. The two services could not be more contrasting considering Apple TV+ is severely limited on the selection of content, while Disney packed its service full of shows and movies, including Disney classics, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and Nation Geographic videos. Yet, in spite of the drastic difference in content, Apple TV+ is understood to have roughly 10 million more subscribers than Disney+.

Previously, reports have suggested that by the end of the first quarter of 2020 Disney+ will have attracted 25 million subscribers. A new report by The Wall Street Journal which credits Ampere Analysis for the data suggests Disney+ is well on track to meet that goal with 23.2 million subscribers. However, the surprise in the data is Apple TV+has 33.6 million subscribers.

Here’s what the new data suggests were the top 5 services in the fourth quarter based on U.S. customer base:

  • Netflix with 61.3 million
  • Amazon with 42.2 million
  • Apple TV+ with 33.6 million
  • Hulu with 31.8 million (includes live TV subscribers)
  • Disney+ with 23.2 million.

Why is Apple TV+ doing so well?

The short and quick answer is likely to be promotional discounts. Apple TV+ made a bold move by offering anyone and everyone who purchased an Apple TV player a year’s worth of Apple TV+ for free. This alone is likely to have significantly increased the user base and quickly. Not to mention, Apple TV+ is also the cheapest of the services mentioned above considering it only costs $4.99 per month.

However, Apple TV+ is not the only one to make use of deep discounts to attract users. Similarly, Disney teamed up with Verizon to offer many Verizon customers a year’s worth of Disney+ for free. In addition, Disney has also bundled Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ at a discounted rate and offered cheaper packages to those who opt for a longer subscription. In some cases, three-year subscriptions.

This highlights the real battle that’s happening here. As regardless of how many millions of subscribers either Apple TV+ or Disney+ pick up in the first year, the real strength of the services will come down to which ones are able to keep hold of the subscriber base once the promotions and hype have died down. Something Netflix and Amazon have been doing successfully for years.

Source: WSJ

John Finn


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