Research analyst says fewer than 10% of eligible Apple TV+ customers have used the one-free-year promo

If you ask Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, the company’s new video streaming service, Apple TV+, is a “rousing success”.

But according to one research analyst, things could be better. Or worse? Maybe both, somehow. That’s according to Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi (via Deadline), who reached the conclusion that fewer than 10% of potential Apple TV+ customers have signed up using the year-free promotion Apple launched in late 2019. Sacconaghi arrived at that figure through various calculations based on the information provided by Apple’s fourth-quarter report and “commentary from management”.

Interestingly, Sacconaghi’s conclusion here is that Apple TV+ is seeing “low adoption” because people aren’t taking advantage of the free year of service. Apple’s promotion officially ended last Friday, but while it was active customers who purchased new or refurbished Apple devices that can stream Apple TV+ (think iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs) could get a year’s worth of Apple TV+.

Sacconaghi has different ideas about what could be going on here:

Scenario 1: Apple hasn’t succeeded in its promotion of the service, as it juggles it with marketing a range of other new services and devices. Scenario 2: Apple may be “conservatively estimating its ‘take rate’ or deliberately scaling its promotions of TV+ slowly to mitigate the negative accounting impact of its early ramp,” the analyst wrote. Scenario 3: Apple TV+ is simply “failing to resonate with customers, perhaps due to its limited content offerings.

Apple has not said anything about specific subscriber results for Apple TV+. However, Apple’s Services division continues to reach new all-time highs for the company, which Apple TV+ is accounted within. Just last month we heard about Apple’s first fiscal quarter earnings, and Services managed to rake in over $12 billion.

(Tutorial: How to sign up for Apple TV+.)

So is Apple TV+ a rousing success or a looming failure? That’s hard to say, honestly, mostly because Apple isn’t going to break down any specific numbers here. But if we’re reading the tea leaves, it doesn’t really matter to Apple. The company has so many projects in the works, including an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series of novels, new projects in the works from legendary director Justin Lin and Alfonso Cuarón, and so much more.

Basically, Apple’s invested in Apple TV+ and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Is it weird that fewer than 10% of eligible customers who could sign up for a year’s worth of Apple TV+ didn’t? If that is indeed the case, then yeah, that’s a little weird. But apparently Apple’s happy with how things are going right now, and the future is very bright for Apple’s video streaming service.

But there’s a lot of room here for questions. I can’t really say I’m taking Sacconaghi seriously here because it legitimately sounds unrealistic. What do you think?

So I have to ask: Did you not sign up for Apple’s free year of Apple TV+ service even though you could? Or do you know anyone who didn’t? Let us know in the comments.