Apple is gearing up to release its TV+ video streaming service to the unwashed masses on November 1, with a few potentially big titles - a mix of movies and TV series - for free if you are an iPhone or iPad user, until it pads up its catalog with enough titles to become a viable platform to pay for outside the free trial.
At that time, which it reckons will be a year from now, judging by the free 12-month period it offers to new iPhone buyers, the service will cost them $4.99, way less than Netflix.
Apple TV+ will also have way less shows than the top dog in streaming video, but given that almost half of Americans are rocking iPhones, Netflix may not want to leave its fate to chance, and a free hit series pilot may be just what the doctor ordered.
It just announced that the first, pilot episode of its new Bard of Blood series can be streamed by anyone for free, without a dedicated Netflix subscription. Earlier this year, the same was done for the pilot of Elite in Mexico.
Granted, Bard of Blood is a fictional spy thrilled based on an Indian novel, geared towards the audience to which Netflix offers $3/month mobile-only streaming, but given that it involves adventures in Afghanistan and the Taliban plus hostage are involved, it may find a fairly wide audience stateside as well.
As the competition gains steam, the end winner might be us users who have never had a bigger choice of quality shows to pick from... and the least time to watch them all. Sigh.