Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., smiles while talking about Apple TV + during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Apple claims that as of July, its TV + services had less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, allowing behind-the-scenes production workers to receive less subscriptions than streamers, according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the union that represents TV and film workers. Works like operating camera and building set.
Apple has not released the number of subscribers for its Apple TV + streaming service, Which was launched in the autumn of 2019-2019. Analysts are reluctant to speculate, but many say its scale is declining compared to services like Netflix, which claimed 209 million subscribers as of Q2, and Disney +, which claimed 116 million.
The fact that Apple could offer discounts despite being the world’s most valuable public transaction company highlights some of the problems faced by Hollywood workers, rampant TV and movie streaming, and anger among union members who are deciding to strike. Good salary and working conditions.
Under the current agreement, high-budget production for streaming can pay workers a lower rate if the streaming service has fewer than 20 million subscribers in the United States and Canada, scheduled for July 1 each year. A spokesman for the union said Apple had told IATSE that it had less than 20 million subscribers.
The union is currently negotiating a new deal with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance. Apple is a member of the alliance, but the alliance negotiates for all its members, and does not create curve-outs for specific companies, according to an industry group spokesman.
A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on the number of subscribers but said the company pays in line with leading streaming services.
Under the current agreement, productions made for streaming services are operated on less stringent labor terms than traditional theatrical TV shows or movies because streaming profits are “currently uncertain” and require more flexibility for production, according to a copy of the CNBC reviewed agreement.
But union leaders argue that streaming is not a particularly new form of media now, and that companies should rate bankroll streaming productions closer to traditional media productions.
“Employees of some ‘new media’ streaming projects receive lower salaries, even in budget productions that compete or surpass conventional release blockbusters,” the IATSE said in a press release this week.
The IATSE is preparing for a strike, its spokesman said, and ballots will be sent to 1.5 million union members on October 1 to allow the strike.
A spokesman for the union said the new media pay rate is one of the topics currently under discussion, with the most important issue being the working conditions of the set, including the long working hours, which worsened during the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic. Celebrities and actors have started posting messages on social media in support of the IATSE union and the possible strike.
Apple has spent up to 15 15 million per episode like “The Morning Show” and has tried to expand its service with premium content. Apple also created free trials with the purchase of a new phone or tablet, and those trials began to end in July, forcing many users to set a price of 4. 4.99 per month. Apple sold an estimated 206 million iPhones worldwide in 2020, the equivalent of many free trials.
NBC Universal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’s Paramount + also have less than 20 million subscribers, so they can ask for a discount on labor, a union spokesman said.
A spokesman for ViacomCBS said the company does not break Paramount + streaming numbers. NBCUniversal had no comment at the time of publication.
Disclosure: NBC Universal, which owns and operates Peacock, is also the parent company of CNBC.