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Study Shows Apple TV Plus Lagged in Engagement While Other Streamers Soared During COVID-19 Pandemic

Stephanie Sengwe

Several studies over the course of the last few months have showed that the coronavirus-induced lockdowns have been beneficial for the streaming industry. As people were forced to stay at home, they turned to streaming services for entertainment and even educational content for children.

However, according to Multichannel, a new survey by MoffettNathanson shows that while streamers such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video were high in engagement, Apple TV+ lagged behind.

Per usual, Netflix led the pack in penetrating people’s homes as 73 percent of respondents said they used the service to stream content. The streamer saw a slight bump as it was at 72 percent in May. Prime Video came in second with 52 percent (up from 51 percent) followed by Hulu, which remained flat at 36 percent. Disney+ also made the cut at 28 percent, a slight spike from 27 percent last quarter.

Of the services surveyed, Apple TV+ was the only one to show a decline going from eight percent in May to seven percent now. The survey, however, showed that there was a jump in non-paying users taking advantage of the free year granted to customers who bought a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac in September. That number went to 57 percent of users, up from 50 percent.

“The Apple TV+ data points should force Apple to reconsider their strategies and options at this point,” stated Michael Nathanson, principal at MoffettNathanson. “We remain concerned about future subscriber churn given the mix of a large number of promotional customers to one-year plans and a lack of original content.”

In contrast, MoffettNathanson’s survey also found that the number of non-paying Disney+ users, who took advantage of the one year free promotion through Verizon, went down to 18 percent. Nonetheless, both Apple TV+ and Disney+ stand to lose subscribers as productions are shut down worldwide.

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