Netflix’s most popular streaming plan currently rings in at $12.99 a month (with options at $8.99 and $15.99), and Disney+ recently came in strong with their rival membership. To stream an absurd amount of Disney-owned content — including original Marvel Studios and Star Wars TV shows, as well as a Marvel Studios, Pixar, Walt Disney Studios, Fox, and National Geographic-filled library — one only needs to pay $6.99 per month (or if one hopped on a recent deal, that took one year off a three-year package price). Then there’s the bonkers package price of $12.99 per year for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, which only means adding a buck or two to a standalone Hulu subscription. Well, Tuesday’s Apple Event revealed a price that proves the Big Four tech company’s desire to be truly competitive in the streaming realm.
Apple TV+ will cost $4.99 per month and launch on November 1. That price (which, let’s face it, is probably possible in part because the new iPhone 11 starts at $699 and jumps from there) will net users only a select bit of original programming series at launch. That includes Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell’s return to TV in The Morning Show along with See (starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodward, and here’s the new trailer), All Mankind (a Ron D. Moore space drama), and Dickinson (starring Hailee Steinfeld and Jane Krakowski). However — and this is pretty big — a one-year free trial of Apple TV+ will be available for anyone who buys a new iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV.
That safety net for Apple should give them more time to crank out more original content and give users plenty of time to decide whether Apple TV+ is worth paying for. Yet what happens when that same Apple ID purchases another new device? Apple hasn’t clarified whether that free trial can be extended if one keeps purchasing fancy hardware, but that’s exactly what many families do, so we’ll see what happens. For now, the streaming gauntlet has been duly thrown.