Apple TV Plus Series Launch to Tepid Demand, Data Suggests

Gavin Bridge

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Apple TV Plus may need to be patient with its first original series.

Analysis of the U.S. market indicates that Apple’s shows generated fairly modest levels of demand immediately post-release (see charts below). That’s according to exclusive data from Parrot Analytics, which examined the 24-hour period following the Apple TV Plus launch last Friday, and compared it with the demand levels 24 hours following release for all new streaming titles debuting in 2019.

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Only one Apple TV Plus series, “See,” starring Jason Momoa, came close to cracking the top 20. Faring worse than “See” as well as two other new originals from Apple TV Plus was its flagship series, “The Morning Show.”

That trend is also playing out worldwide, where “The Morning Show” has the lowest demand of all Apple TV Plus titles, with levels significantly below those seen in other regions. the U.S. leads average demand for the tracked TV Plus shows; English-speaking countries dominate the top 5 for all shows.

While not actual consumption data like Nielsen TV ratings, Parrot’s proprietary “Demand Expressions” metric measures the audience demand worldwide via online expressions of interest across multiple sources, providing a proxy for engagement and interest in a title.

“The Morning Show” cost $15 million an episode and starring Steve Carrell, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. With the show renewed for a second season before release, Apple will surely be hoping that demand picks up. But data for demand for the second day post-release suggests that may not be happening as quickly as for Apple’s other titles.

Perhaps the reviews for the new shows didn’t help. It’s also possible that the weekly release schedule for the slate will see demand increase over time, as more episodes are available and word of mouth spreads. But it’s also worth noting that nine shows with weekly release schedules generated more demand than Apple’s programs did within 24 hours of their premieres.

While competing streaming services like Netflix have the advantage of launching new series on platforms with a more entrenched presence in the content marketplace, none of them can match the sheer scale of what Apple brings as a promotional platform. Apple TV Plus content is available in 100 countries, to 2 billion people across 4 billion devices. 

Apple spent $40.3 million on TV and online advertising for their new shows in September and October, with their spend in September reportedly greater than any other streaming service

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