There it is: Apple TV+ will launch in Germany in November. The Streaming Wars are heating up.
Apples price tag is a surprise for many, but another announcement caught my attention: one year of free access for every purchase of an Apple hardware product. So, what will this mean for Apples subscriber base? Lets put this in context.
Comcast decided not to publish more data on the German subscriber base, but last thing we heard was 5.2 million direct customers in Q3 2018. If the growth rates were stable Sky Germany would aim for 5.8 million customers in 2020.
As Ampere Analysis reported last year that Netflix has more than 5 million subscribers in Germany. With a stable annual plus of 1.6 million subscribers Netflix would close 2020 with 8.3 million subscribers.
Amazon Prime Video
Same source indicates nearly 10 million users of Amazons video service end of last year. At stable growth this would add up to 12.3 million users in 2019 and 14.7 million end of next year. Sounds very high to me, but lets proceed with this number.
More than 17 million households have subscribed to Amazon Prime end of 2018. This would mean that more than 70% of the Prime subscriber base where activated to use the premium video service included.
And now there is Apple: every purchase of an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and others will come with a free year of Apple TV+. A look at the numbers:
- ~20% of the 22 million smartphones sold in Germany are iPhones
- Market share of the 4.2 million tablets sold per year is higher
- ~0.5m MacBooks and iMacs
- Some Apple TV and iPods
This adds up to more than 6 million devices within 12 months which come with a free year of Apple TV+ for German consumers. Heavy promotion in the well-designed user frontends included. So there is a good chance that Apple can convert this user base similar to Amazon (see above). If so, then Apple would celebrate 4 million TV+ customers within 12 months.
[Sept. 16th 2019] Thank you for your feedback on this. I would add the assumption that every owner of a MacBook, iPad or Apple TV also owns an iPhone. The vouchers will probably be restricted to 1x use per Apple-ID, just like Apple did when introducing Apple Music.
There are 4.3-4.8 million iPhones sold until end of next year which all come with a free year of Apple TV+ (see above). If 70% of all buyers use their try-and-buy offer Apple would have up to 3.5 million Apple TV+ customers within 12 months. Still a great start to build up an paying user base, just like it worked out greatly at Apple Music.
I did not include all player here: TV Now, Joyn, DAZN and of course Disney+ are missing. And there is the question how this all adds up per household? When we can expect market saturation? What part of the trial user base will be converted into paying Apple TV+ subscribers?
And: which of the TV platforms will adopt first and best to this paradigm shift in the TV landscape? Their user value is heavily driven by aggregation, orientation and content discovery – and this is probably more relevant than ever before.
Please share your thoughts, we will definitely follow up on this exciting topic.