Proposed Donald Trump Streaming Service Projects 40M Subscribers by 2026
In a filing with the SEC, the company behind a proposed Donald Trump-focused streaming service offers some jaw-dropping predictions. The highlights? An expected 4 million subscribers by the end of 2023, exploding to 40 million by 2026. The presentation suggests the service would cost $5.56 at the end of 2023 and $9/month by 2026.
Bear in mind, the service currently doesn’t exist and it has zero content, zero subscribers, and zero revenue.
For now, the service will be called TMTG+ (Trump Media & Technology Group). It’s part of a larger media company that would also include a social media platform called Truth Social.
Throughout the investor presentation, all the projections are hinged entirely on Donald Trump, a man who would be 80 years old by the time his streaming service projects 40 million users. That reliance on Trump himself leads to slides like this one, somehow equating the former president’s social media following with the users of various platforms.
Bear in mind that following someone for free on Twitter is different from paying for a streaming service. Also, some of those Twitter accounts could be bots, parody accounts, journalists, or gawkers.
Another excellent slide simply asks the question: “Could TMTG+ reach 10M subscribers and contribute to a highly valuable enterprise?” It’s akin to asking, “Could Nike make jet-pack shoes?” Sure. Anything is possible. But this chart hinges on nothing, which is why it simply slaps question marks next to the legitimate returns of two streaming titans. Literally any streaming service set to launch could use this slide. (Netflix numbers, Disney+ numbers, ?????)
The kicker is the sentence at the bottom of that slide: “TMTG+ could deliver a price point closer to that of Netflix ($11.73/month) given President Trump’s highly enthused base.”
There’s certainly no doubt Trump has a highly enthused base, but let’s take a look at some quick facts about how Netflix got to that number. It was founded 24 years ago. It started streaming online 14 years ago. Worldwide, it offers roughly 15,000 titles. Netflix has 15 Academy Awards and 154 Emmy Awards in its trophy case. More than 190 countries can subscribe to the service. Although it has 214 million subscribers, roughly 74 million are in the U.S. and Canada.
Even if TMTG+ comes to fruition, the potential subscriber base is likely to be far less than the company projects. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” is cable TV’s #1 “news” show with 3.67 million viewers. As of 2018, FOX News was available in 87 million homes, a number that has likely dropped as more consumers cut the cord. So if we estimate that number at closer to 80 million today, that means 95% of people who could watch Tucker choose not to.
We should also note FOX News is incorporated into cable/streaming packages, whether subscribers want it or not. The right-wing media ecosystem is vast and omnipresent beyond Fox News, with NewsmaxTV, One America News Network, Blaze Live, America’s Voice, OAN Plus, The First, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire, Gateway Pundit, and Infowars just some of the major players. Much of that content is available for free.
So this investor presentation presupposes that within five years…
- TMTG+ can create a differentiated slate of premium content.
- TMTG+ can convince people to pay for the service.
- TMTG+ can convince advertisers to partner up (if the platform wants to monetize that way).
- Tens of millions of people will continue to be invested in the Trump brand.
None of the numbers in the SEC filing are apples-to-apples comparisons to existing platforms. If we believe 50% of the United States is politically inclined to support Trump, and if we apply that number to Netflix, that still only leaves TMTG+ with 37 million potential subscribers.
That also doesn’t account for the sheer tidal wave of competition elsewhere. It is hard to launch a new streaming service, harder still to launch one when you have no content. Look at Peacock, with such stagnant growth that its parent company didn't even provide numbers in its most recent earnings call. It’s estimated that Peacock has 20 million monthly active users, and some of those are free accounts. This is for a platform that has WWE and Olympics content and tons of movies and TV shows. How will Trump’s team outmaneuver that?
The investor presentation cites Trump’s success with “The Apprentice,” but that show topped out with 20.7 million viewers in Season 1 (17 years ago), dwindling to 4.7 million by Season 10. “Celebrity Apprentice” also faded from 11 million viewers to 7.6 million in Trump’s final year. You will note that none of these numbers is anywhere close to 40 million.
It remains to be seen whether Trump: The Streaming Service succeeds where Trump Steaks, Trump Wine, Trump Airlines, and Trump University failed. After all, Trump: The Candidate became the president of the United States. But investors would be wise to note that numbers have always been fuzzy for the former president. He famously claimed that New York’s Trump Tower has 68 floors. It only has 58.