Apple TV Plus is still widely considered to be an underdog where the best streaming services are concerned. While its library of TV shows and movies might be small, though, it is certainly mighty with A-list casts and critically acclaimed titles aplenty. From multi-Emmy winning Ted Lasso to the 94th Academy Award's Best Picture title, CODA. Plenty of new and exciting are constantly being released too, including Hijack and Hello Tomorrow! And the best part is the Apple TV Plus cost is ridiculously affordable, with plenty of free trial offers making it one Golden Delicious platform.
With a plethora of Apple TV Plus deals available drawing 50 million viewers in alone - like free streaming with eligible Apple devices - (on top of its 25+ million paid subscribers) the tech giant is demonstrating the high-quality viewers can expect from the service as it continues to evolve: slowly reeling us in with addictively unique TV series like Severance and Slow Horses, as well as buzz-worthy movie projects.
The question remains: does the Apple TV Plus cost compare favorably with other platforms like Amazon Prime and HBO Max? We’ll break it all down for you below.
Apple TV Plus cost and plans: your quick guide
Apple keeps things simple with its single plan, costing from $6.99 a month. This follows a price hike in October 2022 that saw plans go up by $2 from $4.99 a month, with similar increases taking effect globally.
You also have the option to save 15% over the year after your Apple TV Plus free trial and pay $69.99 annually. You'll find this option in your 'Subscription' settings.
Apple TV Plus is also available outside of the US in a whopping 107 countries. Prices in key areas look like the below:
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Compared to the competition…
- Disney Plus: $10.99 a month ($109.99 a year)
- Hulu (ad-supported): $7.99 a month ($79.99 a year)
- Netflix: from $8.99 a month ($13.99 for HD)
The low Apple TV Plus cost provides access to growing number of TV shows, movies and documentaries, including acquired content like the Sundance smash CODA and Tom Hanks-starring Greyhound, as well as the Fraggle Rock series. Everything is ad-free, available to stream or download in glorious 4K, plus one account can be shared with up to 5 other people.
You can stream the service through any device with the Apple TV Plus app: that includes Samsung, LG, VIZIO and Sony Smart TVs; Apple TV 4K and HD, Apple TV Plus on Roku, and Apple TV Plus on Fire Stick. As well as Google TV devices; PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and on Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac. It’s also available to watch using a web browser on a Windows PC, Chrome OS, or Android device.
How does the Apple TV Plus cost compare to Netflix?
Like a featherweight boxer going up against the heavyweight champion, it isn’t really a fair fight. Apple TV Plus has around 80 series, movies, and documentaries combined, in comparison to Netflix’s 5000 plus – a streaming library a hundred times bigger. But in its defence, Apple has been focusing on producing brand-new, exclusive content, of which much more is in the pipeline.
At $6.99 a basic Netflix plan costs the same as the monthly Apple TV Plus price. It does have an incredible amount of programming, but to get a picture quality equivalent to Apple’s, you’d need to pick its top-tier $19.99 Premium plan. Suddenly, it’s almost four-times the Apple TV Plus cost – which at $6.99 lets you watch everything in 4K and share your account with an additional five people with no ads to speak of.
While it won’t replace Netflix for a long time, Apple TV Plus has an intriguing line-up of original series like Schmigadoon, sci-fi epic Foundation, plus films and some fun licensed content like Charlie Schulz's beloved Peanuts cartoons. At the very least, it’s a delicious side-dish to the all-you-can-eat buffet that is Netflix.
How does the Apple TV Plus cost compare to Amazon Prime Video?
In terms of volume, Amazon Prime dwarfs Apple TV Plus with close to 13,000 shows, films, and Amazon Originals like Steve McQueen's Small Axe anthology and Tales From The Loop. Sadly, it's ditched its streaming only plan, so you'll need to sign up to a full Amazon Prime membership, starting from $14.99 a month to have the pleasure.
However, if you’re looking for an idiosyncratic mix of programming, like the acclaimed Ted Lasso, the video game comedy Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Servant, and the Golden Globe-nominated animation Wolfwalkers – and for half the price – then Apple TV Plus has plenty to keep you hooked.
In “the battle of the bundles”, Amazon and Apple are more equally weighted. Amazon Prime brings together free delivery, music streaming and much more under its $14.99 a month Amazon Prime Video cost, in addition to its incredible streaming library. Meanwhile, for $14.95 Apple One lets you stream and download around 70 million songs, play over 100 games with Apple Arcade, and provides iCloud storage too, on top Apple TV Plus. Check out the Apple TV Plus deals section for more info.
How does the Apple TV Plus price compare to Disney Plus?
Despite being launched just two weeks apart, Apple TV Plus hasn’t had the fairy tale trajectory of Disney Plus. The iconic content belonging to the Mouse House – Pixar’s animations, Marvel blockbusters, the Star Wars movies and more – has meant that Disney Plus stormed ahead to gain 90 million followers in little over a year.
While both services once had a single streaming plan, Disney Plus has recently introduced an ad-supported plan for $7.99 a month, or the option to go ad-free for $10.99 per month. Regardless of which plan you go for, each allows for Disney Plus account sharing with four individuals. The Apple TV Plus cost is cheaper, however, and can be shared between six people.
Disney Plus had an immediate advantage over Apple: owning hundreds of films and TV series whose characters – Iron Man, Han Solo, Cinderella – are ingrained in the popular consciousness. But although Disney Plus has brands, Apple TV Plus has stars. It’s a platform for A-list talent, including the inimitable Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Anniston, and even Prince Harry (!), in addition to acquiring buzz-worthy content from the likes of Will Smith and Martin Scorsese.
How does the Apple TV Plus cost compare to HBO Max?
Max, the recently rebranded HBO Max, has a reputation for premium content with its plans starting from $9.99 a month – almost double the Apple TV Plus cost. But it’s worth every dollar if you can afford it, hosting the entire HBO back cataloge, a 100-year library of Warner Brothers movies, and titles from dozens of major and minor studios. With the recent merger, it also has a ton of Discovery Plus unscripted, reality shows.
Both platforms prioritise quality over quantity, with an emphasis on exclusive content. In addition to Max Originals, you've also got plenty of Warner Bros titles and HBO series. You will have to stretch for its $19.99 a month plan for 4K streams now, or sacrifice quality pictures and pay $15.99 a month, bagging offline viewing and more simultaneous streams. Meanwhile, Apple TV Plus has paid millions for the rights to compelling new films. In addition to the Sundance smash CODA and crime-drama Cherry, Apple paid a record $105 million for Emancipation, the slavery-based thriller starring Will Smith.
Yes, Apple’s platform suffers from a dearth of crowd-pleasing fare. It has no bona-fide favorites like Friends, and Fraggle Rock isn’t much of a draw by comparison. But, as its library of acclaimed series and exclusive film acquisitions grow, Apple TV Plus can easily justify its $6.99 asking price.
How does the Apple TV Plus price compare to other streaming services?
As you’ll know, Apple TV Plus largely serves only the freshest exclusive content, rather than licensing older titles from third-party networks. So, if you’re looking for a decent cable replacement, you’ll definitely want to investigate the below IPTV options, each of which offer a free trial ranging from 3-days to 1-month.
Sling TV is the most financially flexible. From $40 a month with a Sling Blue plan, you can enjoy over 40 channels across news, entertainment, and sports. You can then add-on dozens of additional channels like Comedy Extra, Here TV, or Up Faith and Family to meet your viewing needs. Meanwhile, FuboTV has a brilliant value Family plan if you can afford the $75.99 bill, having well over a hundred channels including FX, MTV, Fox and NFL. And it’s perfect for the sports fanatic, because a third of its line-up grants access to live games across the athletic spectrum.
YouTube TV is a well-rounded alternative, although it has fewer channels than FuboTV but charges the same fee. It makes up for that, however, with its peerless Unlimited Cloud DVR, which lets you record as many of your favorite programmes as you want. Finally, there’s Hulu – ideal for overall entertainment. There are two main plans. At $7.99 there's the VOD-only service, which lets you stream thousands of titles (unlike Apple TV Plus, content includes ad-breaks). Or, if you think you’ll miss the cable experience, you can benefit from Hulu with Live TV, offering 70+ live channels at $68.99, in addition to Hulu’s vast library of on-demand content.
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Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.