Ted Lasso, thesports dramedy that may be its closest thing to a breakout hit, is set to return July 23. But in a first for a lot of Apple TV Plus subscribers, you might actually have to pay to watch it.
The 62% of Apple TV Plus accounts are riding a promotion. But the latest extension to existing Apple TV Plus' free trials is set to end July 1; the service otherwise costs $5 a month., announced at Tuesday, will arrive after the date that Apple TV Plus' oft-extended free trials are set to expire. Since launching in late 2019, Apple TV Plus has repeatedly extended free trials for people who have bought an Apple gadget. One analyst estimates that
The timing of Ted Lasso's return -- that is, bringing back one of Apple TV Plus' most popular programs nearly three weeks after many free trials are set to end -- suggests that subscribers who have been freeloading Apple TV Plus for more than a year may actually need to start paying up to watch.
Apple didn't respond to requests for comment about Apple TV Plus' free trials.
For people who haven't streamed Apple TV Plus before, Apple continues to offer a year-long free trial for new subscribers if you buy a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV or Mac, with no indication of when it will stop offering that promo. But existing subscribers whose free trials have been extended, including some who have never paid for Apple TV Plus since it launched in November 2019, are set to start paying for the service July 1, unless they cancel -- or unless Apple extends the free period yet again.
The pattern of ending free trial offers before a big premiere has precedent at other upstart streaming services.last June, shortly before the release of its wildly popular film of Hamilton's Broadway cast. in December, just weeks before it was set to release Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and on its streaming service the same day.
original TV shows and movies, competing with the likes of Netflix, and others. But Apple kicking the can down the road with multiple extensions to free trials hasn't signaled confidence in the service's traction thus far. Apple has never disclosed how many people are subscribed to Apple TV Plus. Issuing repeated extensions to free members is certainly welcomed by customers, but it may be interpreted as a sign Apple has doubts about those free members converting to paid ones.is the gadget giant's subscription video streaming service featuring 's
Netflix, the industry leader, had more than 200 million paying members worldwide at the end of last year., which launched two weeks after Apple, has more than . Apple is widely considered to have far fewer.
With a reported budget of $6 billion to rope in some of Hollywood's biggest stars, Apple TV Plus was the first to the battle lines in the so-called, of about a year and a half when media giants and tech titans launched a flood of new streaming services to take on Netflix. These battles -- pitting rookies like Apple TV Plus, , and NBCUniversal's against heavyweights like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video -- have spurred huge corporations to pour billions of dollars into the hope of shaping the future of television. But for you, it means more services to sort through -- and pay for -- as you figure out what to watch and where to find it.
Apple TV Plus is different from most rivals in lacking a massive back catalog of programming. It pitches itself to audiences as a low-priced option for a slimmer library of prestige shows and movies made with big budgets instead. It staked the most on $300 million reported budget. And since launching with fewer than a dozen titles in late 2019, Apple TV Plus has expanded to a selection of more than 60., its marquee drama starring and Jennifer Aniston, with an eye-popping
Ted Lasso has seemed to be Apple TV Plus' closest thing to a darling for both audiences and critics. But so far, Apple TV Plus hasn't produced a breakout hit with the stratospheric popularity of something like Disney Plus' The Mandalorian, nor has it minted a true awards magnet that hauls in piles of statues. Either is crucial for new services to generate the kind of buzz that gets new members interested and keeps current subscribers from canceling.
Apple may bet on its heartwarming, shortbread-baking, underdog-cheering Ted Lasso to make the play that finally wins loyal subscribers, even if they have to start paying up.