Entering the highly competitive VOD arena back in November 2019, Apple TV Plus launched with only 8 TV shows and a single documentary. While it’s now home to over 60 original titles and exclusive acquisitions, compared to Disney Plus – which debuted just weeks later – it’s lacking both content and paid subscribers. So, is the Apple TV Plus cost worth what’s on offer?
While the service has been slow to bulk up, that’s because its investing billions on exclusive programming rather than licensing content from other studios. Hence the attachment of so much A-list talent – Jennifer Anniston, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Chris Evans – to projects like The Morning Show, comedy-series Ted Lasso, and Sophia Ford Coppola’s feature-film On The Rocks, all of which have netted Golden Globe nominations.
Plus, with a variety of Apple TV Plus deals available – like free streaming with eligible Apple devices – the tech giant is revealing the high-quality viewers can expect from the service as it continues to evolve, while baiting them with future high-profile projects.
The question remains: does the Apple TV Plus cost compare favorably with rival services like Amazon Prime and HBO Max? We’ll break it all down for you below.
Benefit from an affordable Apple TV Plus cost:
Apple TV Plus: $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year
Hosting award-winning titles like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, Apple TV Plus chooses quality over quantity with its pool of incredible, stunning produced entertainment. Sign up now and save 15% when opting for an annual plan, with new customers eligible for a 7-day free trial to get you started.
Apple TV Plus cost and plans: your quick guide
There’s just a single plan at $4.99 a month – or you can pay the annual fee of $49.99 and save 15% over the year. Apple TV Plus is also available outside of the US in a whopping 107 countries, so we’ve provided the costs for a few of them:
Monthly: £4.99 / $5.99 CAD / €4.99 / $7.99 AUD / $8.99 NZD
Compared to the competition…
- Disney Plus: $7.99 a month ($79.99 a year)
- Hulu (ad-supported): $5.99 a month ($59.99 a year)
- Netflix: from $8.99 a month ($13.99 for HD)
The low Apple TV Plus cost provides access to growing number of series, films, and documentaries, including acquired content like the Tom Hanks-starring film Greyhound. 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.
Apple TV Plus deals and free trial availability
There are some really sweet Apple TV Plus deals available right now.
If you buy an eligible Apple device – any new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac – you’ll get three months of Apple TV Plus absolutely free. Just make sure you redeem the deal within 90 days of purchase. This comes as a recent change where, prior to July 1, 2021, new Apple purchases qualified for one year of Apple TV Plus free.
The tech obsessed might want to try an Apple One subscription, which provides a month of completely free access to a number of Apple services, including Apple TV Plus. The Individual plan bundles the streaming service with Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage, while the most comprehensive (Premier) plan boosts your iCloud storage to 2TB, lets you share your account with up to five other people, and bolts on Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus.
Furthermore, students with the $4.99 Apple Music Student Plan get Apple TV Plus thrown in free of charge for a limited time. Of course there’s also the traditional 7-day free trial for anyone else: those who haven’t recently bought a flashy iPhone 12 or Apple Watch Series 6, for example.
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 over 50 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 $8.99 a basic Netflix plan costs twice as much 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 $17.99 Premium plan. Suddenly, it’s almost four-times the Apple TV Plus cost – which at $4.99 lets you watch everything in 4K and share your account with an additional five people.
While it won’t replace Netflix for a long time, Apple TV Plus has an intriguing line-up of original series like Schmigadoon and Physical, films, and some fun licensed content like Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock. 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 The Marvellous Mrs Maisel and Tales From The Loop. And, if you only want on-demand streaming, it’s highly competitive at $8.99 a month.
However, if you’re looking for an idiosyncratic mix of brand-new 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 film 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 $12.99 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 beloved content belonging to the Mouse House – Pixar’s animations, Marvel blockbusters, the Star Wars films and more – meant that Disney Plus stormed ahead to gain 90 million followers in little over a year.
Both services have a single streaming plan. Disney Plus is favorably priced at $7.99 per month, and allows 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, as well as original content from Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billie Eilish and Martin Scorsese.
How does the Apple TV Plus cost compare to HBO Max?
HBO Max, the fledgling streamer with a reputation for premium content, costs from $9.99 a month – three times the Apple TV Plus price. But it’s worth every dollar if you can afford it, hosting every incredible HBO show, a 100-year library of Warner Brothers movies, and titles from dozens of major and minor studios.
Both platforms prioritise quality over quantity, with an emphasis on exclusive content. In addition to Max Originals, all 2021 Warner Brothers movies will stream on HBO Max a month from their theatrical release with its premium $14.99 a month without-ads plan, while 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 amount 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 $4.99 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. For $35 a month with a Sling Blue plan, you can enjoy up to 45 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 $64.99 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 $5.99 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 60+ live channels at $64.99, in addition to Hulu’s vast library of on-demand content.