Analyst: Few taking advantage of free Apple TV Plus subscription

A press image for the Apple TV Plus series “Central Park.” (Image: Apple/Handout)

Less than 10 million Apple customers have taken advantage of Apple’s generous one-year free subscription of Apple TV Plus, according to a Wall Street analyst.

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with market research firm AllianceBernstein, based the estimate on numbers released by Apple during their most-recent quarterly earnings disclosure.

Apple TV Plus, a streaming TV service launched by the consumer electronics company last year, offered a library of nothing but original programming when it rolled out to customers. But that library pales in comparison to similar offerings from Netflix, Amazon or Disney’s Hulu.

Apple offers the service for $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year after a seven-day free trial period, but customers who purchase new Apple hardware like a tablet or iPhone are eligible for a one-year free subscription.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said the service was “off to a rousing start” during a quarterly earnings conference call last week, but the California-based company didn’t disclose specific subscriber numbers.

Sacconaghi said there could be a number of reasons why Apple TV Plus isn’t resonating with customers, including increased competition in the streaming TV space and a lack of promotion to customers outside of Apple’s ecosystem.