Apple TV+’s hit rate is the best this year

14 September, 2023

Image: Silo, Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has built a reputation for quality original content whether it is through the star studded casting of series like The Morning Show or the stunning visuals of its sci-fi series. Focusing on building a smaller catalog of original series has enabled the platform to make sure it has more hits than misses without relying on licensed series to round out its programming. All of this has helped Apple TV+ have the best batting average when it comes to delivering hits with its original content so far this year.


So far this year, 50.8% of Apple TV+ original series had 2x or more times the average series demand in the US, making it the only major streamer in the US to have a majority of its originals surpass this threshold. Shows that have more than twice the average series demand are in the top 11.5% of all series. We see a similar result if we look at global demand for these shows. 46.9% of Apple TV+ shows were above the 2x demand threshold globally.

Focusing in on the top tier of most in-demand shows (those with over 32 times the average series demand) we can again see Apple TV+ has the best success rate. Ted Lasso is the one Apple TV+ show whose average demand for the year to date is over 32x. While Netflix has two shows with over 32 times the average series demand so far this year (Stranger Things and The Witcher), as a percentage of Netflix’s massive number of original series this is lower than Apple TV+.


Why does a platform’s “hit rate” matter?  From an efficiency perspective, we can think of it as  “how many shows do you have to make to get a hit.” At Apple TV+ every other show reaches this level, while at Netflix the hit rate is more like one in five. In all fairness to more mature platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, once you reach a certain scale the best path to subscriber growth is by targeting niche or geographic specific audiences you haven’t yet reached and the shows that achieve this aren’t necessarily going to be the biggest hits.

And remember that when we consider demand for all shows and movies on a platform, Apple TV+ is still a minnow compared to some of these other streamers. Facing platforms with enormous libraries of content means it is less likely that users will make Apple TV+ their default streaming home. While curating a platform with significantly fewer series makes it easier for Apple TV+ to maintain its sterling reputation for quality, whether or not  Apple will be able to scale this up to a comparable size with the competition remains to be seen.

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