CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple has never released sub numbers for its Apple TV streaming service, but the labor negotiations between producers and the IATSE have provided a rare inside look at Apple TV’s sub counts, with a union spokesperson telling CNBC that the streaming service had fewer than 20 million subs in July, 2021.
Apple TV told the union that it had fewer than 20 million subs as part of the labor talks because streaming services with less than 20 million subs are allowed to pay lower rates to IATSE members even though some of the productions cost millions of dollars per episode to produce.
NBCUniversal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ also had under 20 million subscribers, allowing them to ask for discounts on labor, a union spokesman told CNBC.
Pay levels for work on productions for streaming services as well as long working hours and work conditions are key sticking points in the labor dispute.
IATSE has announced that it plans a strike authorization vote that could shut down film and TV production on many sites in the U.S. and Canada.
The full CNBC article is available here.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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