Industry News

Just how big in media does Apple want to be?

1 January, 2022

As violins play mournfully, Jon Stewart, an American comic, makes a mock-emotional appeal to viewers. “Every year thousands of hours of high-quality content go unwatched,” he says seriously. “Because good, hard-working people…don’t know how to find Apple TV+.”

Apple became a big noise in music when it launched iTunes almost exactly 21 years ago. It took a cut of songs’ sales, and shifted hundreds of millions of iPods for people to play them. Later iTunes sold movies, too, and the firm hoped to make the same model work in television, where the market is an order of magnitude larger than music. But paying for downloads was superseded by all-you-can-eat subscriptions, pioneered by Spotify in music and Netflix in TV. Unlike downloaded music or films, subscriptions could be easily transferred between platforms. So Apple, seeing little opportunity to lock consumers into its devices, sat out the streaming revolution.

Today it is back in the media game, and a bigger force than Mr Stewart’s joke implies. Apple Music, launched in 2015, is the second- largest streamer after Spotify. Apple TV+, now two years old, is the fourth- largest video service outside China by the number of subscribers, according to Omdia, a data company. In the past couple of years Apple has made smaller media bets including Arcade, a subscription gaming package, News+, a publishing bundle, and Fitness+, which offers video aerobics classes. There is talk of an audiobooks service later this year.

Visit The Economist to read this article.

Other insights you may enjoy


Get a glimpse into the future of global audience demand measurement with TV and talent audience demand data and consolidated insights on global entertainment industry trends.

Exclusive global, regional and market-specific content and talent analyses
Rank 10,000+ talent in 50+ markets across all platforms
Rank 18,000+ TV shows in 50+ markets across all platforms

The Global Television Demand Report 2021

  • Truly understand the global SVOD originals landscape
  • Comprehensive platform market share benchmarks
  • Released each quarter covering 10 global markets
  • Get exclusive access to our comprehensive reports
  • Available for FREE with a DEMAND360LITE subscription