Apple’s streaming service doesn’t seem to be doing too hot based on subscription numbers shared by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. According to the union, Apple had less than 20 million subscribers in the US and Canada as of July, which seems like a disappointing number compared to the likes of Netflix and Disney+. Those services claimed 209 and 116 million subscribers as of Q2, respectively.
The numbers for Apple TV+ may not be entirely accurate, however, as Apple is alleged to be claiming fewer subscribers so it can pay behind-the-scenes production crew lower rates. As reported by CNBC:
Apple claimed its TV+ service had less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of July, allowing it to pay behind-the-scenes production crew lower rates than streamers with more subscriptions, according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union that represents TV and movie workers who perform jobs like operating cameras and building sets.
[…] Under the current contract, high-budget productions intended for streaming can offer lower rates to workers if the streaming service has less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, which is determined on July 1 every year. Apple told IATSE that it had less than 20 million subscribers, a union spokesman said.
This sounds iffy for the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, but Apple has stated that it pays rates in line with leading streaming services. Other streamers that supposedly haven’t broken the 20 million subscriber mark include NBCUniversal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’ Paramount+.