New survey shows Apple TV+ is struggling in areas that matter to viewers

Apple TV+ is a place for original content. There isn’t a huge library of movies or TV from third-party sources, something you’d find on the likes of Netflix or offered by Amazon. And Apple TV+ doesn’t have the extensive backlog of content like Disney+.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, all things considered, and it shows that Apple TV+ has a gigantic hill to climb if it wants to be perceived as a competitor to those other options. Or, more importantly, if it wants to be a viable option for consumers to spend their money on compared to the other options.

Apple TV+, it’s worth noting, is “only” $4.99 per month, and that’s if you aren’t already getting a year’s worth of service for free. That’s cheaper than some other options out there, but one could easily point to the fact that $4.99 per month doesn’t get you a lot to watch. At least not right now.

A new survey shows that Apple TV+ is suffering in other areas, too, many of them potentially very important to consumers. The survey was conducted in December of 2019 in a partnership between YouGov and Variety Intelligent Platform (VIP), via Variety. It gathered the feedback of 1,182 adults in the United States.

So let’s just start with the big one: satisfaction. It’s safe to say that Disney+, the streaming option that launched in the same month as Apple TV+, is a hit. The graph below shows that for respondents who gave each service a score of 4 or 5 (5 being the highest), 76% are very satisfied with Disney+.

Apple TV+ sits at just 48%.

In between them is Netflix at 74%, Amazon Prime Video at 66%, and Hulu at 64%.

How about user interface? Apple TV+ falls in dead last in that regard, too:

One of these key areas where Apple TV doesn’t measure up to Disney Plus and the others is product design. In fact, 53% of survey respondents gave Apple TV Plus a 4 or 5 out of 5 when asked to rank the service’s user interface, with 0 being “very hard to use” and 5 being “very easy to use.” Comparatively, 77% gave Disney Plus a 4 or 5, which notably is higher than the figures for Prime Video (68%) and Hulu (73%).

I think this is probably the least surprising of the results, honestly. The Apple TV+ experience is housed within the Apple TV app, and while it does a pretty good job of pushing new content in front of your eyeballs (whether it’s first-party content from Apple TV+ or the likes of Hulu), there’s a lot going on within the app. And a lot of it might not be very interesting to the person trying to use the service, especially if they want Apple TV+ content.

And even when it comes to content discoverability, Apple TV+ still struggles. The respondents gave Apple’s streaming service only 40% compared to Disney+’s 67%. This is kind of shocking considering Apple TV+ doesn’t have a lot to offer just yet, while Disney+ is stocked with over 7,000 TV shows and more than 500 movies to choose from.

You can check out the graphs from Variety directly.

The good news here is that there is a lot coming down the pipe for Apple TV+ in the months ahead. However, it sounds like Apple may need to address the other elephants in the room even before the new films and documentaries and TV series launch on the platform.

And, just as Tim Cook has said in the past, Apple doesn’t see Apple TV+ as a direct competitor to the likes of Disney+ or Netflix. And Netflix isn’t really scared of Disney+ or Apple TV+ for that matter. While it’s oftentimes referred to as the “streaming wars”, many of these companies just want to make great content and put it out there into the world for people to watch, and that doesn’t mean they need to kill off the other services to do that.

Will we see Apple make some changes to Apple TV+ in 2020? What do you think? What would you like to see the company change for its streaming service? How do you think it can catch up to the likes of Disney+ in these specific categories moving forward?