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Apple reportedly use dodgy figures to pay TV workers less

There is widespread entertainment industry speculation that Apple are understating viewer numbers for their Apple TV Plus streaming platform, in order to pay workers less.

While they have never publicly released subscriber numbers, it is said Apple told the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) they have fewer than 20 million US and Canadian subscribers. According to a CNBC report, that allows them to pay workers less than bigger streaming platforms like Netflix, who said they had 209 million subscribers in August.

With demand for streaming services going through the roof during the pandemic, and negotiations with production companies stalling, the IATSE have been pushed “to a breaking point” and are preparing to strike.

“Workers on certain ‘new media’ streaming projects get paid less, even on productions with budgets that rival or exceed those of traditionally released blockbusters,” states an IATSE press release.

Apple TV are gaining traction in the entertainment stakes thanks to Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon’s The Morning Show, which is said to cost US$15 million an episode, and Emmy-winning comedy Ted Lasso.

With 60,000 IATSE workers pushed to their limit, Ted Lasso stars and writers have reportedly negotiated higher contracts, and Apple made a US$21.7 billion third-quarter profit.

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