Skip to main content

Apple TV Plus Moves to Get Off the Promotional Juice

Apple TV app
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is making its first move to wean its 20-month-old Apple TV Plus streaming service off the promotional juice, cutting the one-year free trial it offers to purchasers of Apple hardware to just three months, starting July 1.

Apple said it had 660 million subscribers at the end of Q1 across its range of subscription services, which include not just the Apple TV Plus, but also Apple Arcade and Apple Music, just to name a few.

Apple has not disclosed a specific Apple TV Plus subscriber number since the service launched on November 1, 2019. Ampere Analysis estimates that the $4.99-a-month SVOD offering finished 2020 with more than 40 million subscribers, with the majority of them still getting the service for free after purchasing an iPhone, iPad or MacBook Pro. 

Apple TV Plus has struggled with a deficit of programming, a problem compounded by pandemic-related production delays. And until Ted Lasso came along, the service didn’t really have a certifiable hit. 

However, season 2 of Ted Lasso is coming soon (July 23), as are some other can’t-miss event series—the Simon Kinberg-produced Invasion (Oct. 22) among them. (We included trailer's to both shows below.)

Perhaps Apple feels it’s time to see if consumers will pay five bucks a month for its SVOD, despite its lack of library.