Launching on November 1, Apple TV Plus will cost just $4.99 / £4.99 (around AU$7) per month, and to sweeten the deal even further, you’ll get a year’s free subscription when you buy an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV device.
The subscription can be split between up to six family members, and it nearly halves the cost of Netflix’s cheapest subscription plan, which stands at $9 / £5.99 / AU$9.99.
For anyone keeping an eye on their monthly outgoings, that lower price could well entice them away from Netflix and onto Apple’s fledgling streaming service.
But is a $4 price cut enough to lure people away from the home of streaming hits like Orange is the New Black, GLOW, Bojack Horseman, and Maniac?
That’s not to say Apple TV Plus doesn’t have its own shows to shout about; Steven Spielberg announced that he’s resurrecting his ‘Amazing Stories’ anthology series that first hit our screens in the mid-eighties, while Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell are set to star in The Morning Show, a series that examines the ”complex relationships between men and women in the workplace” in the framework of a morning news show.
In fact, the iPhone 11 launch saw Cook gleefully reveal that The Morning Show trailer is “one of the most watched for any TV show ever” having been viewed “over 100 million times”.
There’s no doubt about it; Apple is pouring heaps of resources into its upcoming streaming service, with celebrities as diverse as Oprah Winfrey, Jason Momoa, and Prince Harry associated with Apple TV Plus original shows.
While these shows may sound great, it doesn’t look like Apple will be able to match the sheer volume of content on offer from Netflix at launch, even if it does intend to release new originals every month.
No comfort TV
There’s also no syndicated content – so all the shows you love to binge like Friends, Breaking Bad, and Rick and Morty won’t be available to stream on Apple TV Plus – for comfort-viewing like this, Netflix will likely still reign supreme, or you’ll have to purchase them separately through Apple’s digital download store.
There’s also a gaping film-shaped hole in Apple’s streaming service currently, and while the quality of the films licensed by Netflix has historically been hit-and-miss, Netflix is fast becoming a respected player in the world of film distribution when it comes to its own in-house film productions.
Since Netflix Original Roma took the award for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars earlier this year, the platform has paved the way for streaming services to find a place at the table amongst the Hollywood elite.
There’s no reason why Apple can’t do this too, especially with the number of respected directors, producers, and actors it has on board with Apple TV Plus, but don’t count on it happening in the next 12 months.
After all, Apple TV Plus is just getting started, and Cook’s primary concern will be gaining a large subscriber base as soon as possible – as the world’s largest streaming platform, Netflix has the luxury of pursuing Oscar success.
Right now, it’s clear Apple TV Plus just can’t compete with the huge bevy of original and syndicated shows that Netflix has at its fingertips, and Netflix will likely remain king of the streaming sphere for the next few years at least.
However, Apple TV Plus’ low price point means that it has a better chance of toppling the streaming giant than many would first have thought – even if those odds are pretty slim to start with.