Apple has always been associated as a premium brand with premium products and higher prices than its rivals. As a world leader in design and technological products, Apple TV Plus seems to step outside those pricing parameters.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on November 1, 2019

Apple TV Plus launches in more than 100 countries and regions on 2 November.

Apple TV Plus costs US$5 a month. Disney Plus, which launches on 12 November, costs US$7 monthly. Netflix’s most popular plan is US$13 and HBO Max will cost US$15 a month when it launches in May 2020.

Apple has always been associated as a premium brand with premium products and higher prices than its rivals. As a world leader in design and technological products, Apple TV Plus seems to step outside those pricing parameters.

There is no question that a lot of money has been given to Apple TV Plus and everything you see is original. Marquee drama The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, has a reported budget of US$300 million for 20 episodes.

However, Apple’s streaming service is launched with just nine programs including children’s shows, which perhaps explains the cheaper price. You could binge the entire day-one catalogue of Apple TV Plus easily in a single day. The first three episodes of Morning Wars will be available to watch on Apple TV Plus from 2 November with new episodes being broadcast every Friday. The full-line up at launch is See, The Morning Show, Dickinson, For All Mankind, Oprah’s Book Club, Helpsters (Sesame Street), Ghostwriter, Snoopy in Space and The Elephant Queen.

HBO Max, by comparison, will have 10,000 hours of video available to stream, more than a year’s worth of video. Disney Plus will launch with roughly the same number of original titles as Apple TV Plus, but Disney will also have more than 300 movies and thousands of TV episodes.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is buoyant at the prospects of Apple TV Plus. At the investors call after announcing a record revenue for a business quarter, Cook said: “With customers and reviewers raving about the new generation of iPhones, today’s debut of new, noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, the hotly-anticipated arrival of Apple TV+ just two days away, and our best lineup of products and services ever, we’re very optimistic about what the holiday quarter has in store.”

Now, if you have bought an Apple iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch or Mac since 10 September, you will know that Apple TV Plus is free for 12 months. When Apple last published unit sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, that represents nearly 100 million subscribers to Apple TV Plus from day one. Buyers were told if they signed the plan Apple will automatically renew for the full US$5-a-month fee after the 12-month period is over.

Apple TV Plus is also part of Apple’s family-sharing feature, which allows you and up to five family members to share a plan.

Tim Cook commence speech, Stanford University, Twiitter
Apple CEO Tim Cook is expecting a good response to Apple TV Plus over the US holiday season.

Apple also has the advantage that there are 900 million active iPhones in the world and as CNet reported, that is a big advantage evidenced by the fact that Apple Music is already the second biggest music streaming service in the world (behind Spotify). Apple Music has more than 60 million subscribers.

Apple TV Plus comes with a free week’s trial.

Disney paid US$71 billion for Fox and AT&T spent US$85 billion to purchase Time Warner.

In 12 months time it will be interesting to see where Apple TV Plus stands in the world.