Apple TV+ has just launched, with a line-up of shows starring A-list Hollywood talent. But is it worth subscribing, and can it compete with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video?
Apple has been teasing its online streaming service for months. Now that it’s finally here, we take a look at how it stacks up against its established rivals on price and content.
How much does Apple TV+ cost?
Apple TV+ subscriptions are priced at £4.99 a month after a seven-day free trial.
This makes Apple TV+ one of the cheapest major paid-for streaming services currently available in the UK.
BritBox is another new entrant to the streaming wars. It’s a partnership between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and will cost £5.99 a month for a selection of classic British TV series.
You can get Amazon Prime Video for £5.99 a month, or £7.99 a month if you want other Prime membership benefits such as free next-day delivery on selected products.
Netflix has a more complex pricing model. It’s £5.99 for a ‘Basic’ subscription, which lets you watch on only one screen in standard definition. The ‘Standard’ subscription allows two screens at once in HD for £8.99, and ‘Premium’ allows four screens in Ultra HD (4K) for £11.99.
For contrast, Apple TV lets all subscribers watch six simultaneous streams.
Now TV, Apple’s other major competitor in this space, has a different pricing model in that it sells ‘passes’ to watch different entertainment categories.
TV programmes cost £8.99 a month, films are £11.99 a month, and sports is £33.99 a month. Children’s TV and reality TV are cheaper than Apple, at £3.99 a month each.
It’s worth noting that the free trials for BritBox, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are one month long, while Apple TV+’s is just seven days, giving you less time to decide if you like it.
The table below shows how Apple TV compares with the main market leaders:
|Streaming service||Price (per month)||Number of simultaneous streams||Can you stream in 4K?|
|Amazon Prime Video||£5.99||3||Yes|
- Find out more: 50 ways to save money
What shows are on Apple TV+?
Apple TV+ launched with nine heavily promoted original programs, including The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
These are part of a catalogue that includes Dickinson – a retelling of poet Emily Dickinson’s teenage years – and the kid-friendly Snoopy in Space.
The key difference between Apple TV+ and Netflix is that your Apple subscription only gets you original programming, without any content that was not made for Apple TV+.
Amazon Prime, BritBox, and Netflix, on the other hand, come with entertainment that originated for TV channels or in cinemas – often available on an exclusive basis. If you want to stream Friends, for example, you have to get a Netflix account.
If you watch Apple TV+ using an Apple TV box, you can use it to access other streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, and pay individually to rent or buy films.
But the only part you’re actually paying for is the original programming. At the moment, Apple TV+ has a lot less of that than Netflix and Prime Video. However, this could change in the future, as Apple does have a number of new releases in the pipeline.
- Find out more: TV streaming services explained
Which streaming service is best?
With Apple TV+ and BritBox launching back to back, you now have more choice than ever when it comes to video streaming.
If 4K content is what you’re after, we carried out a study back in January to find out where you can view the most of it. The results are below:
If you want to know the best way to stream to your TV, read our reviews of the best streaming devices, where we compare Google Chromecasts, Amazon Fire Sticks, Roku, Sky and Now TV boxes.
To find out more about watching your favourite shows and movies online, see our guide to TV streaming services.