Apple has dived into the video streaming subscription ring with the launch of Apple TV+. In a star-studded announcement, Apple launched its new service that would allow users to access films and series on demand. But is it a true rival to the popular Netflix?
Digging into the details it seems it was the announcement of Apple’s other TV-related service that is more likely to make an impact on the sector. Apple TV Channels is a major part of the relaunch of the Apple TV App that will turn into a hub for all users’ movie and TV-watching needs 'this fall.' The new Apple TV Channels will mean users can build their own cable bundle featuring only the channels they want to pay for.
Amazon should take note
Content consumers can subscribe to channels like HBO, Starz, and ESPN+, as well as streaming services like PlayStation Vue, and pay for them all under one subscription. It isn’t Netflix that will be threatened by this change, and it’s Amazon. Amazon Prime Video provides a very similar service with its own Channels platform, but it already looks like Apple is going to do a better job.
Netflix isn’t in the clear though
Apple is coming after their Netflix originals content with ferocity. Apple TV+ is backed by some strong content makers like Steven Speilberg who are obviously cooking up movies and shows exclusively for Apple. Exactly what that content is, remains to be seen.
Thank you to Academy Award winner and fellow @AuburnU alum @OctaviaSpencer for helping us launch Apple TV+, a new home for the most creative storytellers on earth. War Eagle! pic.twitter.com/43HxCELGjs— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) 2019. március 26.
Despite Netflix throwing huge amounts of cash at its originals content, their overall quality is easy to dismiss. What will truly set the two services apart is availability. Currently, Netflix is available basically anywhere you have a device.
The Netflix app lets you watch (and chill) on any Android and iOS device and its cloud-based service makes it easy to start streaming on any laptop or PC that has internet. Most smart TVs also offer accessibility to the NetFlix App.
Apple hasn't’ revealed exactly how their service will be available
The Apple TV App is becoming available to a number of smart TVs, including big brands like Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio. Good news for people wanting the service who don’t own the Apple TV device.
But at the Apple TV+ launch, Tim Cook made no mention of how else users can access the service. If Apple locks it down to only Apple devices Netflix will breathe a sigh of relief. Not being able to watch from Android TV, PC desktops and laptops, gaming consoles, and non-Apple tablets would highly restrict Apple's audience range. Netflix’s super accessibility will likely always trump a service that is only available on limited drives no matter how great the content.
The cost of Apple TV hasn't been released yet, but rumors swirl that it will be cheaper than Netflix - at least initially. Netflix recently raised its pricing. The Standard tier that offers two HD streams, increased 18%, from $10.99 to $12.99 per month. The Premium plan, which provides up to four Ultra HD streams, increased from $13.99 to $15.99 per month (up 14.3%). The Basic plan, which offers a single non-HD stream, went up from $7.99 to $8.99 per month (+12.5%).
Overall it's too hard to say if there will be a clear winner for the title of champion of the video streaming subscription service. Will availability and price rule over content quality? We'll keep updating you the services go head to head in the coming months.