Ad Data Points to Apple's 'Slow Roll' Promotion of Apple TV+

Following Friday's launch of Apple TV+, new data on Apple's television and online advertising spend reveals that the company is taking a "slow-roll" approach in promoting the new streaming service (via The New York Times).

apple tv plus promo image
According to data gathered by iSpot.TV, Apple spent $14.9 million on television commercials ‌Apple TV+‌ in the month of September, compared to $28.6 million on ads promoting its new iPhone line-up in the same month.

In October, as the ‌Apple TV+‌ November 1 launch date approached, Apple ratcheted up its ad spending, but the budget share was broadly similar. The Cupertino-based company spent $19.9 million on television commercials for ‌Apple TV+‌, compared to $38.6 million on ‌iPhone‌ TV ads.

As for online marketing, October saw Apple spend $1.7 million on 139 unique digital ads for ‌Apple TV+‌, and $2.3 million for 245 separate ‌iPhone‌ ads, according to the advertising analytics platform Pathmatics.

Billboard tracking data for Apple's recent spate of outdoor ads are not yet available, but what we do know is that taken together, the company spent a total of $71.9 million on ‌iPhone‌ ads and $40.3 million on Apple TV Plus spots on television and online in the past two months.


The New York Times quotes business analyst Dan Rayburn of business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan as saying that Apple is playing a wise game by avoiding an iPhone-level marketing blast for ‌Apple TV+‌ because of the dearth of content on offer compared to the vast libraries of digital streaming rivals like Disney+ and Netflix.

"Consumers are just drowning in content right now, and all of these services are competing for our time," he said. "But they're all approaching the market differently. This isn't some race for Apple. It's a slow roll."

Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives provided the report with a somewhat different perspective. Ives believes that ‌Apple TV+‌ marketing has so far been "aggressive" compared to most other Apple launches, and he expects advertising to pick up more over the holiday season as well as a year from now, when Apple tries to convert customers on free trials into paying subscribers.

"This is a pivotal juncture for Apple to be successful — they cannot trip over their shoelace," Mr. Ives said. "They were late to the game, they've underinvested in content and they have a lot of room to make up."

If you purchase or have purchased an ‌Apple TV‌, ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, Mac, or iPod touch after September 10, 2019, you're entitled to a free year of ‌‌Apple TV‌‌+ service, after which it costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year for up to six family members.

iOS 12.3, tvOS 13.2, and macOS Catalina are required for ‌Apple TV+‌ on ‌iPhone‌/‌iPad‌, ‌Apple TV‌, and Macs, respectively, but content can be watched on any device by going to tv.apple.com in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

For more on ‌Apple TV+‌, make sure to check out our Apple TV+ guide. You can also discuss shows in our new Apple TV+ forum.

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Top Rated Comments

robjulo Avatar
60 months ago
Is it possible to have a single article about Apple TV+, without showing Jennifer Aniston?
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
joshen Avatar
60 months ago
It feels way too aggressive considering the amount of content available.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lsutigerfan1976 Avatar
60 months ago
It is $5.00 a month for a few shows. And the shows aren’t even that good. With zero content otherwise. I would probably do a soft launch also if i were Apple.??‍♂️
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
60 months ago

Is it possible to have a single article about Apple TV+, without showing Jennifer Aniston?
I’m sure it is, but I don’t mind that they’re not really exploring that possibility.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zimmy68 Avatar
60 months ago
It can't survive this content. I guess giving it away for year was a hail mary pass.
At the minimum, they should add a movie of the week (whatever is the 99 cent rental) to the package.
Over paying for Jennifer Aniston and Oprah Winfrey will get clicks but after the smoke clears, there is little there.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
60 months ago
Why would they aggressively advertise a service that has 9 shows?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)