Thursday, December 8 2022

While no one outside of Apple teams knows exactly how many subscribers Apple TV+ has, there is evidence of a sustained and growing demand for the platform’s original programming across a wide range of genres. And when you look at the success ratio for programming, Apple outperforms many of its more established competitors.

While Apple TV+ has a fraction of the content available on Netflix, it has a higher success rate on average, according to parrot analysis‘, which take into account consumer research, streaming, downloads and social media, among other commitments.

According to Parrot data on demand for online content, Apple TV+ offers more original shows in the outstanding and good category than in the average or below average category compared to Netflix – and is roughly on par with HBO Max (off HBO).

Platform request for Apple TV+ vs HBO Max and Netflix, US, March 18-May 18, 2022 (Parrot Analytics)

And it’s not just “Ted Lasso” for Apple TV+ anymore. To better understand where the demand for Apple TV+’s programming is coming from, we can look at its top 10 series in the United States.

While “Ted Lasso” was still the most requested series on Apple TV+ between March 18 and May 18, with outstanding demand 24 times the average for all other series in the US (something only 2.7% of all shows reach), the comedy was closely followed by “Severance” and “For All Mankind”.

“Severance,” the Adam Scott-directed show about a future where employees share memories between work and personal life, was surrounded by a litany of buzz when it premiered in February. It quickly racked up a ton of requests as week-to-week word of mouth for the show picked up. “For All Mankind,” a drama that delves into an alternate version of the space race, is one of Apple TV+’s most critically acclaimed shows and, in its third season, has become the cornerstone of the service.

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“Severance” and “For All Mankind” achieved a demand score of 16.9 times and 15.7 times the average demand for all series in the United States, respectively, which puts them both in the outstanding category.

One of Apple TV+’s greatest strengths is that its originals feel uniquely curated, an approach reminiscent of cable giants like HBO, FX, Showtime and Starz. Although Apple TV+ doesn’t have as much content as its competitors – including Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu – the originals it does have are generating significant demand. This results in a higher success rate than some of its competitors.

Tracks like “Pachinko”, “WeCrashedand “Servant” are great examples of shows that appeal to different taste groups, which is reflected in the demand. “Servant,” a horror series, has 13.9 times the average demand of all other shows. “Pachinko,” an American drama that revolves around the life of a Korean immigrant family, has 14.2 times the average demand of all series. “WeCrashed,” a high-profile factual drama starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway about the fall of WeWork, has 14.3 times average demand.

10 most requested shows on Apple TV+, United States, from March 18 to May 18, 2022 (Parrot Analytics)

10 most requested shows on Apple TV+, United States, from March 18 to May 18, 2022 (Parrot Analytics)

It is important. Demand for Apple TV+ programming is strong, suggesting there’s enough to attract subscribers. But without a deep library of older movies and series, Apple TV+ faces challenges finding a significant audience on the scale of some of its competitors.

So what does this mean for Apple TV+? As more programs become available on the platform, including potential franchise-like series and longer programs, Apple TV+ could experience sustainable growth even as competition increases domestically and internationally. The demand for its original programming is there. In a very noisy market, Apple TV+ has managed to continuously make noise and attract people. The remaining hurdle is generating enough series with sufficiently consistent high demand that its users sign up for more than one series and become long-time subscribers.

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