Netflix vs Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon, Hulu plan prices and shows
The cord-cutting trend, and the runaway success that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other streamers that produce original content have become, didn't go unnoticed at Apple. The rumors that it is circling the wagons to try and launch a streaming package mix of shows and popular channels like HBO or Showtime materialized as TV+, Apple's first foray into a new industry in a good while.
The standard Netflix tier now costs $13 a month in the US, so Apple's $4.99 is the greatest undercut among streamers so far, as Apple's original shows can still be counted on your fingers. We were hoping for a grand bargain on a package that includes video, music, news, as well as extras like AppleCare but to no avail so far.
On the other hand, new competitors sprung up in the meantime, and besides the heretofore mentioned Streamers of the Old Guard, Apple will now have to battle HBO Max and Disney+, as well as whoever else decides to jump in while it grows its catalog of original shows and programming.
HBO Max vs Apple TV+ vs Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ plan prices
HBO Max, Apple TV+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ vs basic cable
As you can see, Apple's TV+ landed at just $4.99, free with any device purchase. This makes it the cheapest such service of them all, against HBO Max that would be the most expensive but then again "it's not TV, it's HBO."
If you subscribe for all of these streaming services at their high tiers, however, it would all add up to about $80 a month, or slightly below the US average monthly bill for cable TV subscription when you account for taxes and fees.
In reality, though, you'd probably just tack one or two of these on top of you cable. Oh, the irony, streaming video was supposed to be the cord-cutter's dream that will free them from the cable TV shackles!
Netflix vs HBO Max vs Apple TV+ shows and original content
With an installed base of more than a billion potential viewers who are used to paying for media, Apple could immediately become the next big thing on the trendy "what to watch" block. The team from Cupertino is nothing but ambitious - Eddy Cue is on record saying that they want to acquire or produce shows on the level of Game of Thrones, and, knowing Apple's money, they could very well do so. For comparison, HBO spends two billion on original programming, and Apple has tripled that amount for its TV+ debut so far.
In any case, Apple will have way fewer movies and TV shows than the rest of the competition at that November 1 launch, though, as you can see from the chart below, having the most content doesn't make for the most popular such service, as most of Amazon Video's movies are pretty old, plus Netflix has the highest number of original content in its roster.
Apple has already poached plenty of entertainment industry names, too, so it finally seems bent on building a proper media empire. Here are all the shows it said its streaming service will be launching with:
Apple TV+ new original shows list at launch
Apple has already poached plenty of entertainment industry names, too, so it finally seems bent on building a proper media empire. Here are all the shows Apple said its streaming service will be launching with:
Steven Spielberg "Amazing Stories" reboot
Given the success of the retro-feeling "Stranger Things," Apple reported reboot of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" hit from the 80s might turn out to be a gold mine, especially with M. Night Shyamalan as a producer. At $5 million a pop, it better work.
Reese Witherspoon - from morning show dramas to comedy series
Apple's comedy and drama orders reportedly continue with multiple shows brought on by Reese Witherspoon. One is a morning news TV series drama (or, maybe, we should stop calling them TV shows) with Jennifer Anniston and Steve Carell, and scripted by the House of Cards' Jay Carson. Another Reese Witherspoon mention is as a producer, this time for a "You Think It, I’ll Say It" scripted comedy by Apple, starring Kristen Wiig, of which there are reportedly 10 episodes already ordered.
"Are You Sleeping?" with Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul, of Breaking Bad fame, will be playing a convicted murderer in an Octavia Spencer drama called "Are You Sleeping?" No, with this lineup, Apple doesn't seem to be sleeping at all.
Comedy series with Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney from "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
Apple has a potential hit under its belt, a straight-to-series comedy by everyone's favorite good-for-nothing's Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney from "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia." This alone makes the show an immediate hit among us in the office, but there is more. Charlie and Rob's comedy series takes place in a video game studio (sweet!), and also features the Oscar-winning F. Murray Abraham, plus a number of other up-and-coming actors like Charlotte Nicado, David Hornsby, Imani Hakim, Ashly Burch, and Danny Pudi.
"Little America" series
Dubbed "an anthology for immigrants," a new show is being developed for Apple by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, co-created with the Master of None's Alan Yang. These will be half-hour episodes based on true stories about "the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and unexpected lives of immigrants in America, at a time when their stories are more relevant than ever."
"For All Mankind"
Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), For All Mankind explores the future of a fictional global space race. Jodi Balfour will play pilot Ellen Waverly, joining previously announced Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, Altered Carbon), Michael Dorman (Patriot, Wonderland), Sarah Jones (Damnation The Path), Shantel VanSanten (Shooter, One Tree Hill) and Wrenn Schmidt (The Looming Tower, Outcast).
"Dickinson" is an Emily Dickinson comedy (of all things) with Hailee Steinfeld
This coming-of-age comedy will be set during the great American poet Emily Dickinson’s times from the viewpoint of Emily (Steinfeld). The retro environment will mix modern questions about gender's places in society, family relationships and the writer who is well ahead of her times. Now this mashup would be interesting to see, and with cast like Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 3, True Grit) and producers Alena Smith (The Affair, The Newsroom). "Dickinson" will likely be a harbinger of what's to come in Apple's new streaming service - curated shows that won't be a dime a dozen to see what sticks like the Netflix approach.
"See" series with Jason Momoa
The Aquaman Jason Momoa has been cast in a lead role for the Apple original series "See". Mankind, or what is left of it, is now blind, and the show sounds like an epic survival drama in the future. Momoa will be playing Baba Voss, a fearless warrior and leader, what else.
Thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan
Spotted filming in Philly, the new thriller series from renowned director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Glass) employs Rupert Grint from Harry Potter fame. Apple’s upcoming psychological thriller series will follow parents Dorothy (Ambrose) and Sean Turner, who have hired young nanny Leanne to help care for their newborn child. Grint will play Julian Pearce, Dorothy’s (Ambrose) younger brother.
A new children’s series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.
Snoopy in Space
A new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
A reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
The Elephant Queen
An acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.
Oprah Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.
All HBO Max channels, TV shows and original programmingFor starters, the new HBO Max service will be folding all of these content providers - HBO, New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, etc. - plus a bunch of exclusive and original programming:
- “Dune: The Sisterhood,” an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve
- “Tokyo Vice,” based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort
- “The Flight Attendant,” a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti
- “Love Life,” a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig
- “Station Eleven,” a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai
- “Made for Love,” a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson
- “Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie
- The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of “Friends” — one of the biggest hits on television and in streaming
- The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes of fan favorites “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Pretty Little Liars”
- The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.’ produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the highly-anticipated new DC Entertainment series “Batwoman,” and “Katy Keene” (spinoff of “Riverdale”)
- New exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, and Reese Witherspoon, Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning actress and producer; Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films
- Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman
- “Lovecraft Country,” a unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams
- “The Nevers,” Joss Whedon’s new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly
- “The Gilded Age,” the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes
- “Avenue 5,” high satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (“Veep”), starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad
- “The Undoing,” a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant
- “The Plot Against America,” reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro
- “Perry Mason,” the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role
- “I Know This Much Is True,” a complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.
This is already shaping up to be an impressive roaster of more than 10,000 new hours of content, plus everything that HBO and Warner have to offer so far, and whether Apple TV+ will be able to compete with its budding original content catalog, remains to be seen. Good thing that HBO Max is launching in early 2020, but Disney+ will start as a direct competirot in November, so Apple will probably have to bundle its TV+ service in a package service if it wants to notch a relative success.
In fact, analysts expect Apple to add 12 million TV+ subscribers in 2020 and 21 million in 2021 which is a pretty modest amount compared to the large subscriber base of Netflix or Amazon. Baby steps, though, and if Apple manages to combat issues like piracy successfully, it might just add another steady revenue stream to compensate for flatlining iPhone sales.