Lack of interest in Apple TV+ content is a big barrier for subscribers

Apple TV+
Apple TV+ debuts on Friday, Nov. 1. (Apple)

Apple TV+ is making its debut this week after years of development. But lack of interest in the streaming service’s content is a big factor that could prevent subscribers from signing up.

According to Ampere Analysis’ newest survey of U.S. consumers, it’s that lack of interest, along with respondents saying that they already have enough SVOD services that could hold up Apple TV+’s growth. The service’s aggressive $4.99/month price tag is not seen as a barrier.

Apple TV+ will initially have a small lineup of movies and series – including “The Morning Show,” “See,” “Dickinson” and “For All Mankind” – and early reviews have been mixed for those titles.

Ahead of Apple TV+’s launch on Nov. 1, Ampere found that about one in three (38%) of U.S. consumers were aware of the service, which puts it ahead of the 30% awareness rate for peers like HBO Max. Awareness among Apple device owners is 51% versus 25% for non-Apple device owners, and skews towards a younger demographic.

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“The core target group for Apple TV+, in the short term at least, will be existing device owners aged 18-34. Given the popularity of Apple devices in households, there’s already a large potential customer pool in the US. To sustain subscriber growth for TV+ in the longer term, Apple will want to move beyond its own device universe, and ensure it appeals to those outside its brand ecosystem,” said Minal Modha, consumer research lead at Ampere Analysis, in a statement.

Apple has launched its TV app (which will house Apple TV+) on third-party devices including Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

While somewhat lackluster content is a hurdle for Apple TV+, the company’s decision to include a free year of the service with new device purchases will give the service a boost in the early going, a deal that Ampere said appeals to many of the younger respondents in its survey. The firm found that 21% of Apple device owners are likely or highly likely to subscribe (compared 13% of non-Apple owners). That figure goes up to 29% of the 18-24 age group, and drops to 14% of 55-64 age group and 9% of those aged 65 or higher.