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Apple TV+ Expected to Have Limited Reach at Launch

LONDON—Apple is not holding back with the advertising and planned content for its Apple TV+ streaming service. However, according to a new report from IHS Markit, the reach and potential subscriber growth for the service could be limited when it launches on Nov. 1.

Apple TV+ is estimated to only be available to a little more than half of the total U.S. market on its initial rollout. Set to be accessible for customers using iOS devices, Samsung Smart TVs and web browsers, IHS estimates its potential addressable base to be about 70 million households, or 57%.

Compare that to the streaming services of Apple’s expected competitors: Netflix reaches 95% of U.S. homes, while Disney+ will be available for 92% initially. IHS does not that the Disney+ streaming service’s reach is based on availability on Android mobile devices, as it has “a lack of Smart TV partnerships” at this time. Other streaming services expected to be launched in the next year include WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

To broaden its market reach, IHS says that Apple must make Apple TV+ on third-party devices, including competitors’ digital media adapters. There are expected launches on Roku and Fire TV devices, as well as additional smart TV models, but no date has been announced as of yet.

“By opening up to other platforms, Apple TV+ will see its addressable base increase by 24% to 87 million U.S. households,” said Fateha Begum, principal research analyst at IHS Markit. “This will improve Apple’s position, but the company will still be at a disadvantage compared to competitors who can address the entire U.S. market of 124 million online households.”