Apple TV+ and Disney+ Services Could Struggle With Limited TV Platform Support

Mike Wheatley

IHS Markit says Apple and Disney’s new video streaming services are likely to struggle when they launch later this year due to what it says is “limited TV platform support”.


In a report published last week, IHS Market said around 60% of the U.S. online population will be able to access Apple TV+, while 90% will have a way to watch Disney+.

That sounds great, but when we exclude Android mobile devices as the means of access, the “addressable base for Disney+ shrinks considerably”, IHS Markit said. It’s expected that Disney’s app will only be available on one in five Smart TVs once it launches next month.

"Service availability on connected living rooms devices - smart TVs, digital media adapters, games consoles and STBs - will be key in driving uptake among connected consumers,” the market researcher said. “Smart TV apps are the most popular method of access to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, with nearly half of monthly users claiming to watch the respective video services via a smart TV app.”

Disney has previously said it will support the tvOS, Chromecast, Android TV and Roku TV platforms at launch. However, it has yet to add support for Samsung Tizen, LG webOS and Amazon Fire TV.

Apple TV+ also has some huge gaps in its ecosystem. The service, accessible via the new Apple TV app, will be available on Apple TV and some of Samsung’s 2018 and 2019 Smart TVs that run Tizen, as well as a select number of Roku devices. The company has also announced coming support for LG TVs running webOS, and some Sony, Vizio and Amazon Fire TVs in the weeks after its launch. However, Apple TV+ is not supported on Android TV, Chromecast or any gaming consoles.

“By opening up to other platforms, Apple TV+ will see its addressable base increase by 24 percent to 87 million U.S. households," Fateha Begum, principal research analyst at IHS Markit, said in a statement.

The limited reach of Apple TV+ and Disney+ means that neither service is likely to present much of a threat to Netflix, which is their main rival in the video streaming space. Netflix is supported by just about every TV platform there is, including Android TV, Fire TV, Roku, Tizen, tvOS and webOS.

Apple TV+ is set to launch in more than 100 countries on November 1, priced at £5 per month in the U.K.

Disney+ will launch in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands on November 12, and one week later in Australia and New Zealand. No U.K. release date has been set so far.