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Apple TV+ Tried by Only 5% of U.S. Streaming Homes in Q4: HarrisX Poll

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

Only around 5% of U.S. streaming homes tried the new Apple TV+ SVOD service in the fourth quarter. 

And nearly 20 million U.S. streaming households, around 23% of the overall market, used Disney+ in December. And 90% of those users also subscribe to Netflix.

This data comes courtesy of a poll of 18,946 consumers in the fourth quarter, conducted by HarrisX for equity research firm MoffettNathanson. 

The data revealed a maturing U.S. streaming market—penetration by streaming services in the U.S. only grew from 68% to 72% from October 2018 to December 2019, after expanding much faster previously in the decade. 

The news about Disney+’s fast uptake isn’t surprising, with Disney revealing close to 10 million signups in the first 24 hours after the service’s November 12 launch. Users, the HarrisX poll said, were engaged, with 41% of them streaming content daily. Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian, as most might expect, was far and away the most widely viewed show on Disney+.

“Beyond the hit show, which vaulted into the zeitgeist on the back of Baby Yoda, the scripted original content offering on Disney+ is very thin,” wrote MoffettNathanson’s Michael Nathanson, outlining the poll in a newsletter to investors today. “It will be interesting to see how Disney+ usage trends over the next several months as excitement around The Mandelorian begins to wane.” 

What is more notable is the “complimentary” relationship between Disney+ and Netflix. 

Nathanson said his firm has, from the beginning, discounted the notion of a “streaming war” whereby new market entrants like Disney+ immediately cause defections from incumbent platforms like Netflix. 

“What we don’t expect is a wave of Netflix customers to cancel on day one because Apple TV+ has seven dramas, or Disney+ has one great original and is available for a low monthly price of $6.99,” Nathanson wrote. 

Perhaps the relatively subdued early performance of Apple TV+, which launched 12 days before Disney+ on November 1, is mildly surprising. The customer growth is even more of a down when you consider that, according to the HarrisX survey, 50% of Apple TV+ users have signed up for the new service on promotion. 

Apple is giving the service away for free for a year to purchasers of iPhones, iPads, Macs and other new Apple devices. 

(Image credit: MoffettNathanson)