Apple Earnings Q3 2023: Can Messi sustain Apple TV+ momentum as strikes prolong?

3 August, 2023

Apple’s Thursday earnings report is unlikely to reveal much about its services sector, so Parrot Analytics has broken out Apple TV+’s performance during the latest quarter.

Led by the third season of Ted Lasso, as well as breakout hit Silo, Apple TV+ has hit new highs in streaming originals demand share. When it comes to demand for original series, Apple TV+ is now the third most in-demand service with US audiences, and the fourth most in-demand globally.

Ted Lasso was the most in-demand streaming original with global audiences from April-June 2023, the first non-Netflix or Disney+ original to achieve this ranking since 2017. If season three turns out to be the finale for Ted Lasso, where does Apple TV+ go from here? The Idris Elba-led Hijack is off to a great start, averaging exceptional demand worldwide since debuting in late June, and Silo has been renewed for another season. 

But Apple TV+ is more reliant on original programming than any other streamer, and might feel the pains of a prolonged Hollywood work stoppage faster than its competitors when it no longer has new shows and movies in the can.

While other SVODs can fall back on their larger content libraries, Apple does have one singular exclusive asset: Messi. The soccer legend’s decision to take his talents to Inter Miami CF could prove to be Apple’s biggest game change of the year. Apple now has exclusive access to the vast majority of Messi’s matches through its MLS Season Pass. This should lead to material revenue growth from both new subscribers who want to watch Messi, and by upselling existing Apple TV+ subscribers with a discounted MLS Season Pass offering.

If a fake soccer coach put Apple TV+ on the map, a real soccer star may be the one to lift the platform to new heights.

NOTE: The charts below refer to the April-June quarter as Q2 2023; Apple will refer to the same period as their Q3 2023. 

Streaming Originals Demand Share — Global

  • Demand for streaming original TV series is a strong leading indicator of subscriber growth for SVODs. 
  • The above chart reveals how much the global market has changed in the last three years, with entrants that debuted in late 2019 and early 2020 steadily chipping away at Netflix’s dominant position over the past 14 quarters.
  • In the April-June 2023 quarter, Apple TV+ (7.4%) hit a record high in global demand share, building on momentum that started in the first three months of the year. 
  • Apple TV+ now has the fourth most in-demand originals catalog with global audiences, behind Netflix (36.3%), Amazon Prime Video (11.0%), and Disney+ (8.8%).

Streaming Originals Demand Share — United States

  • The US streaming market is even more competitive (and profitable) than the global market, evidenced by the less than three percentage point gap separating second place Amazon Prime Video (8.6%) from sixth place Max (5.7%).
  • Just as it did globally, Apple TV+ (8.3%) hit a record demand share in the US this past quarter. It moved into third place in this category for the first time ever, leapfrogging Disney+ (7.3%) and landing within striking distance of Amazon Prime Video (8.6%) as Netflix’s top competitor in demand for streaming original content. 
  • The demand share and rank of Apple TV+ indicate serious momentum in the first half of 2023. For the full year 2022, Apple TV+ was in fifth place (6.9%), behind Hulu (7.0%), Disney+ (8.0%), Prime Video (9.0%), and Netflix (41.1%).

Global Demand for Apple TV+ Originals (Q2 2023)

  • The primary driver of Apple TV+’s growth this year has been its flagship original series, Ted Lasso, which was 69.88x more in-demand than the average show worldwide from April 1-June 30, 2023. 
  • Not only was Ted Lasso by far the most in-demand Apple TV+ Original, it was the number one streaming original worldwide during the same time, beating out staples such as Disney+’s The Mandalorian and Netflix’s Stranger Things, which had held the top spot for four straight quarters.
  • This is the first time since Q1 2017 (The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video), that a streaming original from outside of Netflix or Disney+ has been number one with global audiences for a full quarter.
  • While Ted Lasso deservedly gets all the headlines, Apple TV+’s record quarter might not have been possible without the complementary breakout success of Silo. The high-concept sci-fi drama was Apple TV+’s second most in-demand original both in the US and worldwide last quarter, and was among the top 0.2% of series worldwide across all platforms during the time period. Apple has renewed the series for a second season.
  • Apple TV+’s sci-fi and thriller heavy lineup has produced one of the more male-leaning audiences in the streaming world. This has helped them scale up significantly since their launch, but they will need a more diverse slate in order to become a true four quadrant service. 

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