Business & Investment

Apple told entertainment unions that it has less than 20 million TV + subscribers

Apple Inc. at an event held at Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, USA on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple TV +, smiles as he talks about Apple TV +.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Apple had less than 20 million subscribers to TV + services in the United States and Canada as of July, and according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Film and Theater Trade Unions, behind-the-scenes production crews have more subscribers than streamers with more subscribers. Also claimed to be able to pay at a lower rate. A union that represents TV and film workers who perform tasks such as operating cameras and creating sets.

Apple has never revealed Subscriber number For that Apple TV + streaming service, Analysts are reluctant to provide quotes, but many say their size is inferior to services such as: Netflix, Which Claims 209 million subscribers As of the second quarter Disney+, Claimed 116 million.

The fact that Apple can pay discounts despite being the most valuable listed company in the world is a problem facing Hollywood workers as streaming replaces linear TV and movies. Better wages and working conditions, highlighting some.

Under the current contract, high-budget works for streaming can offer low rates to workers if the number of subscribers to the streaming service is less than 20 million, which is determined on July 1st each year in the United States and Canada. increase. Apple has told the IATSE that it has less than 20 million subscribers, a spokesman for the union said.

The union is currently negotiating a new deal with an alliance of film and television producers. According to an industry group spokesperson, Apple is a member of the alliance, but the alliance negotiates for all its members and does not create a carve-out for any particular company.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the number of subscribers, but said the company was paying for major streaming services.

According to a copy of the contract reviewed by CNBC, under the current contract, the production of streaming services is traditional because the profitability of streaming is “currently uncertain” and the production requires more flexibility. It is managed under stricter working conditions than TV shows and movies.

However, union leaders claim that streaming is no longer a particularly new form of media, and companies that bankroll streaming productions will have to pay close to traditional media productions.

“Workers on certain’new media’streaming projects will be rewarded less for works with budgets that match or exceed the budget for previously released blockbusters,” said the IATSE press release. increase. Said this weekPlease note that the negotiations were stalled.

IATSE Prepare for a strike, The spokesman said, and a ballot will be sent on October 1st to allow 150,000 members of the union to approve the strike.

New media wage rates are one of the issues currently under negotiation, but the most pressing issue is working conditions in sets, including worsening long working hours during the Covid-19 pandemic. Celebrities and actors have begun Post a message on social media that supports the IATSE union and the possibility of a strike.

Apple has Reportedly We spent up to $ 15 million on each episode of a show, such as The Morning Show, to enrich our services with premium content. Apple has also bundled free trials with the purchase of new phones and tablets, including those trials. Expiration began in JulyLets many users decide if it’s worth $ 4.99 a month. Apple sold an estimated 206 million iPhones worldwide in 2020, which is equivalent to many free trials.

According to a union spokesman, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’s Paramount + have less than 20 million subscribers and can seek discounts on the workforce.

A ViacomCBS spokeswoman said the company did not classify Paramount + streaming numbers. NBCUniversal had no comments by the time it was published.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, which owns and operates Peacock, is also CNBC’s parent company.

Apple told entertainment unions that it has less than 20 million TV + subscribers Apple told entertainment unions that it has less than 20 million TV + subscribers

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