Apple TV Plus will officially launch November 1 at just $4.99 per month—a noteworthy reveal as Apple seeks to muscle its way into the streaming wars and take on long-standing giants like Netflix.
When Apple TV+ releases this fall, the company will only be releasing a select few of its originals, including For All Mankind, Dickinson, and The Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon—one the company has poured a ton of resources into creating and promoting. But with so few original offerings right out of the gate, it puts Apple at odds with streaming giants with successful movies and series—specifically with Netflix, which has placed its bet on churning out as much original content as possible to keep its subscribers returning.
Apple TV+ will be available as a one-year free trial for folks who purchase a new Apple TV, iPad, or iPhone—a perk for those who aren’t sure about whether to commit. And given the lack of mind-blowing content for launch, that free year will likely be crucial for convincing people to give Apple’s streaming service a try.
Interestingly, the only new show that Apple gave the spotlight to for its big event today was See, starring Jason Momoa.
How It Stacks Up: Netflix’s basic plan, its cheapest, clocks in at $8.99 while its standard and premium plans—which allow HD, and in the latter’s case, Ultra HD streaming—are respectively priced at $12.99 and $15.99. A basic Hulu subscription costs $5.99 a month or $11.99 a month to go ad-free. Disney+ will launch at $6.99 and will include 4K, UHD, and High Dynamic Range streaming, with an ad-supported Hulu and ESPN+ bundle costing just $12.99. HBO GO, meanwhile, costs $14.99 a month.
What to Know: We knew that Apple TV+ would launch with a handful of originals, though whether or not those would prove real competitors with the kinds of high-quality series that can be found elsewhere has been somewhat up for debate. The Financial Times reported in August that Apple had devoted $6 billion to its original shows and movies, including “hundreds of millions” on The Morning Show alone.
However, rumors that Tim Cook had prohibited programming from including any sex or gratuitous violence has dogged the service ahead of its official release, leading to a presumption that Apple’s streaming service will be about as clean-cut as the company itself. A rumor last year that the service was being referred to as “expensive NBC” didn’t exactly do it any favors.
Apple, for what its worth, maintains that it won’t be nearly as shitty as Netflix and that there will, at the very least, be some language to help pry it out of the decidedly bland territory it seems to be occupying at the moment.