Apple claimed that its streaming service, AppleTV+ logged lower than 20 million subscribers within the US and Canada as of July, in keeping with the Worldwide Alliance of Theatrical Stage Staff.
Apple revealed the paltry subscriber numbers — which quantity to solely a small fraction of what Netflix and Disney have amassed — to the present biz union when it got here time to pay its members, who make up its behind-the-scenes manufacturing crew.
The IATSE stated that current manufacturing contracts with Hollywood studios enable smaller streaming providers with lower than 20 million subscribers to pay employees much less. A rep didn’t specify how a lot much less however stated it was a “meaningful difference.”
Apple didn’t return requests for remark.
The information is shocking on just a few fronts. Apple has by no means earlier than revealed subscriber numbers for its streaming service, which launched in 2019. Stories had grossly exaggerated the service’s subscriber depend, estimating that the service had 40 million subscribers on the finish of 2020.
What’s extra, the iPhone-maker has poured billions of dollars into exhibits like “Ted Lasso” and “The Morning Show,” in an try to catch rivals like Netflix and Disney, which have over 200 million and 100 million subscribers, respectively. The numbers reveal simply how far Apple has to go if it needs to change into a significant participant within the house.
A rep for the IATSE defined that underneath the present contract, high-budget productions meant for streaming can provide decrease charges to employees if the streaming service has lower than 20 million subscribers within the US and Canada, which is set on July 1 yearly.
Apple advised IATSE that it had lower than 20 million subscribers, a union rep stated, including that the IATSE is at the moment in negotiations with the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers, the group representing Hollywood studios, over a brand new contract.
A supply near the IATSE complained that manufacturing contracts permitting smaller providers to pay employees much less are “outdated” and that these provisions have been put into place round 2009 to be able to assist streaming get off the bottom.
The supply griped that it isn’t truthful that workers are paid much less for a similar work on an Apple present than they’re paid to do the identical work on a Netflix present.
It’s ironic that Apple, one of many richest firms on the earth is “taking advantage of this provision” when it is ready to spend huge bucks on exhibits, a supply stated.
Certainly, Apple shelled out a reported $15 million per episode on shows like “The Morning Show,” starring Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon, to be able to shore up subscribers for its $4.99 a month service. Over the summer time, The Submit completely reported that AppleTV+ even bought a button on Roku’s remote to be able to develop its buyer base as free trials started expiring.
“Streaming is here. It’s not new media anymore,” stated the supply, who famous that it’s ridiculous that Apple received’t pay employees extra.