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What is Apple TV Plus and is it worth it?

Want to know more about Apple's dedicated streaming service? This is your one-stop shop.
By

Published onMarch 30, 2024

Apple TV Plus On iPhone
Adamya Sharma / Android Authority

When Apple TV Plus debuted in 2019, it filled a void for Apple enthusiasts, despite its initial scant lineup beyond a few standout shows and movies. Fast forward to now, and the narrative has shifted significantly. With an expanded roster featuring acclaimed hits like the Oscar-winning “Coda” and Emmy-favorite “Ted Lasso,” Apple TV Plus demands a fresh assessment.

In an era flooded with streaming options, the inevitable question arises: Is another service justifiable? Given Apple TV Plus’s latest offerings, it begs the question of whether its value justifies adding another subscription to our already stretched budgets and crowded screens.

apple tv plus logo 1
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus has quickly become a major player in the streaming game since its launch in 2019. Its slate of original programming includes shows like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Foundation, and For All Mankind as well as movies like The Banker, Greyhound, and Palmer.

What is Apple TV Plus?

Apple TV Plus is a subscription-based streaming service offered by Apple. It was launched on November 1, 2019, as part of Apple’s broader strategy to diversify its revenue sources beyond hardware sales into services.

Apple TV Plus focuses on providing a wide range of original content, including TV shows, movies, documentaries, and children’s programming. Unlike many other streaming services, Apple TV Plus primarily features original content exclusively produced for the platform, rather than a mix of original and licensed content from other providers.

How much does Apple TV Plus cost?

What is Apple TV Plus - App interface
apple

Apple TV Plus on Android TV, phones, and tablets launched in November 2019 for $4.99 a month in the US, with a 7-day free trial. In October 2023, the company raised the service price to $9.99 a month. This only covers Apple Originals, mind you—if you pay for third-party Apple TV Channel add-ons, those are extra, usually as much as they would cost in separate apps. Getting them through Apple only simplifies access and billing.

Only one tier supports up to five family members, 4K quality, and media downloads.

Apple TV Plus offers its streaming service at varying prices internationally, reflecting adjustments for different markets. As of the information available:

  • In Canada, Apple TV Plus is priced at $12.99 CAD.
  • In the United Kingdom, the service is available for £8.99.
  • For European countries outside the UK, the price is set at 9.99€.
  • Australian subscribers can access the service for A$12.99.

If you already subscribe to a few other Apple services, like Apple Music, it might be worth merging them into an Apple One subscription. The individual tier includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 monthly. A family plan expands all of those services to five people for $25.95, simultaneously boosting iCloud storage to 200. The most expensive plan (Premier) costs $37.95, boosting storage to 2TB while adding Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus.

PlanMonthlyAnnual
Price per month$19.95$37.95
Apple TV PlusIncludedIncluded for up to 5 people
Apple MusicIncludedIncluded for up to 5 people
Apple ArcadeIncludedIncluded for up to 5 people
Apple News PlusIncluded
Apple Fitness PlusIncluded

How do you get Apple TV Plus for free?

To inflate subscriber numbers in the face of tough competition, Apple initially offered a free year of the service to anyone who had recently purchased an Apple device. This included iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TV set-tops, and even iPods.

Apple stopped offering that in July 2021. Since then, the company has provided no more than 3 months of free access and typically limits new subscribers to a 7-day trial.

Is Apple TV Plus worth it?

Let’s be clear up front: if you’re not interested in Apple’s exclusive content, Apple TV Plus isn’t for you. You won’t find staple shows like Community, Seinfeld, The Office, or I Love Lucy here, nor will you find classic movies like The Thing or Casablanca. There is some older licensed content, but it’s almost a footnote.

The original content that’s available may justify the cost, though. Some examples include the sci-fi epic Foundation, based on Isaac Asimov’s classic novels; The Morning Show, a drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell; See, an epic sci-fi drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard; and Servant, a horror series produced by M. Night Shyamalan.

While Foundation is gaining some more attention, the service’s best-known titles are probably the workplace sci-fi mystery Severance and the feel-good comedy Ted Lasso, about an American coach leading an English soccer team. Both have won or been nominated for many awards.

The service has a small slate of movies, including acclaimed titles like the 2022 Oscar Best Picture winner CODA and The Tragedy of Macbeth, directed by Joel Coen. Consider movies a value-add rather than a primary reason to subscribe.

Apple’s real ace in the hole may be pricing (see current prices below). It’s cheaper than many other ad-free services, so some people might subscribe for a few months without even thinking about it. You may even be able to get the service for free, usually in conjunction with another service or by buying an Apple device like the Apple iPad Air 6.

Apple also has a fairly generous family-sharing plan, allowing up to five family members to use the same subscription. They can use their own logins, so you don’t need to share your password with anyone.

ServicePrice per MonthSimultaneous StreamsVideo QualityAd-Free
Apple TV Plus$9.9964K HDRYes
Netflix$6.99–$22.992–41080p, 4KOptional
Hulu$7.99–$17.9921080p, 4KOptional
Disney+$7.99–$13.9944K HDRYes
Amazon Prime Video$8.99–$14.9934K HDRYes

How do I get Apple TV Plus?

Signing up for Apple TV Plus is easy and can be done from both the web and the Apple TV app. In fact, it’s usually the first thing you see when you open the app. Just tap Try It Free and confirm your purchase to get started. After your trial period, you’ll automatically be charged $9.99 a month. Be sure to cancel at least 24 hours before your trial ends if you don’t intend to subscribe.

On the web, simply navigate to the Apple TV Plus website, then click Start Your Free Trial. If you aren’t already logged in, you’ll have to log into your Apple account, but the entire process takes less than a minute.

No matter how you sign up, you’ll get a pop-up letting you know if you have three months to claim due to a recent purchase.

Once your free period with Apple TV Plus is over, you can also opt for an Apple One subscription if you use other Apple services such as Apple Music, iCloud Plus, and Apple Arcade. The bundle saves money compared to paying for all those services individually.

apple tv plus logo 1
Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus has quickly become a major player in the streaming game since its launch in 2019. Its slate of original programming includes shows like Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, Foundation, and For All Mankind as well as movies like The Banker, Greyhound, and Palmer.

Where is the service available?

Apple TV Plus is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions. This wide availability allows viewers from around the world to access Apple Originals from today’s most imaginative storytellers. Some of the countries include:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. France
  7. Italy
  8. Spain
  9. Japan
  10. South Korea

This is not an exhaustive list, and availability can vary, so it’s a good idea to check the Apple TV app or the official Apple website for the most current information.

What devices does Apple TV support?

Apple TV Plus on multiple devices

Apple TV Plus is available on any Apple device with the Apple TV app. If a device is compatible, the app is usually pre-installed. That includes iPhones, iPads, Macs, iPod touches, and Apple TV set-tops from the 3rd generation onwards.

The app is optional or included on third-party streaming devices by the likes of Amazon, Roku, and Google. That’s also true with many smart TVs from Vizio, Samsung, and LG brands.

If a smart TV isn’t compatible with the Apple TV app, you may still be able to access the service using AirPlay. This allows you to cast from any Apple device. You can see a list of supported smart TVs on Apple’s website.

Android phones and tablets are technically excluded but should be able to stream via the web, but the app is available on Macs and Windows PCs. Don’t worry—you’re all good if you have a TV or set-top with Android TV or Google TV.

You can also set up the Apple TV Plus app on your PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S. No luck with the Nintendo Switch.

Here’s the full list of Apple TV-compatible devices:

  • Apple TV (4K, HD, and 3rd generation)
  • Roku (most models)
  • Amazon Fire TV (most models)
  • Google TV (with Chromecast)
  • Samsung smart TVs (2018 or newer)
  • Sony smart TVs
  • Vizio smart TVs
  • LG smart TVs (2019 or newer)
  • Panasonic smart TVs
  • VIDAA smart TVs
  • Mac (macOS Catalina 10.15 or higher)
  • PC
  • Android (browser only)
  • Android TV (version 8 or higher)
  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation 5
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X
  • Xbox Series S

What’s on Apple’s streaming service?

See season 2 on Apple TV Plus Momoa
Apple

Apple TV Plus is mostly about content under the Apple Originals program. This includes shows, movies, and documentaries, some starring the biggest names in Hollywood. The company’s deep pockets and relationships with other industries give Apple’s streaming service an advantage over some competitors.

By this point, there are many great shows and movies on Apple TV Plus, with new content monthly, and in many cases, you can watch the first episode of a series for free before you even start your 7-day trial.

As mentioned, there’s very little third-party licensed content. What is there is generally intended to boost Apple’s continuations, such as Fraggle Rock and Charlie Brown.

We won’t list everything on Apple TV Plus in this article, but here’s a brief list of some of our favorites, so you know what to expect.

Best Apple TV Plus shows

Apple has invested heavily in original shows, although few have captured the general public’s hearts and minds (Ted Lasso and Severance being the major exceptions). Here’s a quick list of some of our favorites:

  • The New Look – A captivating historical drama series that spans 10 episodes. Created by Todd A. Kessler, the series boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior, Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel, Maisie Williams as Catherine Dior, John Malkovich as Lucien Lelong, and Emily Mortimer as Elsa Lombardi.
  • Masters of the Air – A World War II drama from producers Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman, showcasing the perilous lives of airmen in the 100th Bomb Group, a brotherhood shaped by courage, loss, and triumph.
  • Sago Mini Friends – A children’s show where the animated dog Harvey and his friends engage in playful adventures in a joyful town.
  • Criminal Record – A British crime thriller series that follows two detectives, a seasoned veteran and a newcomer, who clash over an old murder case after an anonymous phone call draws them together.
  • John Lennon: Murder without a Trial – A documentary series that provides a comprehensive exploration of the murder of John Lennon, featuring exclusive interviews with key figures from Lennon’s life, including friends, doctors, and investigators.
  • Ted Lasso – A fish-out-of-water comedy starring Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach who moves to the UK to coach a soccer team, despite not knowing the sport.

Best Apple TV Plus movies

Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry in a pool at night in Causeway - best new streaming movies
Apple TV Plus

Apple TV Plus doesn’t have nearly as many movies as its competitors, but it has a respectable selection, and Apple is pushing hard to establish its credibility. Here’s a brief list of what you can expect:

  • Killers of the Flower Moon – A gripping narrative where, after oil is discovered in 1920s Oklahoma under Osage Nation land, the Osage people are murdered one by one—until the FBI steps in to unravel the mystery.
  • The Family Plan – An action comedy film featuring Mark Wahlberg as a former top assassin who, living incognito as a suburban dad, must take his unsuspecting family on the run when his past catches up to him.
  • Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas – A holiday special where the Emmy-winning star welcomes special guests for a musical extravaganza at the London Coliseum.
  • Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown — A heartwarming special where Charlie Brown awaits Valentines and Linus buys a gift for his teacher, Miss Othmar, which Sally mistakes as a present from her “Sweet Babboo.”

Major League Baseball and MLS Season Pass on Apple TV Plus

apple tv plus mlb
Apple

Apple hosts two live Major League Baseball games every week, plus some miscellaneous related content, such as highlights and daily recaps. It’s not a substitute for a service like ESPN or MLB.tv, but there’s no extra cost for Plus subscribers.

You will need to pay if you want to access the MLS (Major League Soccer) season pass. This is treated as another Channel subscription (see below), but Plus subscribers can get it for $12.99 per month or $79 for the full season, which is cheaper than it would be otherwise. There may be mid-season discounts available.

Apple TV Channels and other content

Apple TV Channels
Apple

Although they’re not technically part of Apple TV Plus, Apple TV Channels are a great way to get more out of your experience with the Apple TV app. It turns the service into something more like traditional cable TV but without all the bloat.

The Channels program is essentially an à la carte selection of TV channels and streaming services that you can subscribe to within the Apple TV app. This allows you to consolidate most (if not all) of your services into one place, with Apple getting a cut of every Apple TV-based subscription.

It’s easy and convenient to subscribe using your Apple account, but existing subscriptions outside of the app can’t be transferred over. You’ll need to cancel them and resubscribe through Apple TV.

There can be potential benefits to using channels, such as higher-bitrate streams and media downloads. Like Apple TV Plus, many subscriptions can also be shared with up to five family members.

Here’s a full list of confirmed Apple TV Channels:

  • Acorn TV
  • A&E Crime Central
  • Allblk (formerly Urban Movie Channel)
  • AMC Plus
  • Apple TV Plus
  • Arrow Video Channel
  • Bet Plus
  • BFIPlayer Classics
  • Britbox
  • CBS All Access
  • Cinemax
  • CollegeHumor Dropout
  • Comedy Central Now
  • CuriosityStream
  • Epix
  • Eros Now Select
  • Hallmark Movies Now
  • HBO (limited)
  • History Vault
  • IFC Films Unlimited
  • Lifetime Movie Club
  • Moonbug Kids
  • MTV Hits
  • Mubi
  • NickHits
  • Noggin
  • Out TV
  • Pantaya
  • Paramount Plus
  • PBS Living
  • ScreenPix
  • Showtime
  • Shudder
  • Smithsonian Channel Plus
  • Starz
  • Sundance Now
  • Tastemade
  • The Great Courses Signature Collection
  • Topic
  • Up Faith & Family

Subscription fees vary by channel but typically start at $5 or more. Channel availability varies by region.

You’ll also see select non-channel services appear in the TV app, but generally only as Up Next content, and launching a video will switch you to an outside app.

Here’s a list of external streaming services supported by Apple TV:

  • MLB.TV
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Max
  • Peacock

Several cable and satellite apps and internet-only TV platforms are integrated. Check with your provider if this matters to you. Usually, it’s best to access live services within their native apps.

FAQs

The Apple TV Plus subscription streaming service competes with Netflix and the likes of Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others. It’s completely ad-free, except for promotions for content and add-on streaming services within Apple TV Plus. The platform features a host of original shows and movies made (or bought) under the Apple Originals program.

Apple TV is a streaming device offered by Apple that enables users to stream content to their televisions from their home devices. It also allows access to a variety of paid content from multiple providers, including Netflix, and includes Apple’s own streaming service. Apple TV Plus represents Apple’s subscription-based offering for TV shows and movies, providing exclusive and original content to its subscribers.

Apple TV Plus offers a premium streaming experience, showcasing a vast collection of exclusive content, including award-winning series, captivating dramas, innovative documentaries, children’s programming, comedies, and more. Each month, subscribers are treated to new Apple Originals, ensuring there’s always something fresh and exciting to watch.

This is highly subjective, but the TLDR is that it’s only worth it if you’re interested in its original shows. There aren’t many movies or documentaries, and there’s very little third-party content of any kind.

There are a few different ways, such as a 7-day trial, bundling with Apple One, or the three free months you get with the purchase of an Apple device.

You and up to five family members can enjoy access through family sharing.

Apple TV Plus mostly offers access to a library of original movies and shows, such as Ted Lasso, Foundation, Severance, and The Problem With Jon Stewart.

Yes, Apple TV Plus allows you to create as many as six profiles.

Yes, all Apple TV Plus shows and movies are available to stream or download in 4K.

No, Apple TV Plus does not have any ads.

Yes, there are parental control options for the Apple TV app, web portal, and set-top box.

Apple TV Plus subscriptions can be shared with up to five other accounts (six total), although officially the program is limited to just family members.

Yes. The app is available on most Roku devices, and in fact the only ones that don’t support it are generally outdated regardless. If it’s not preloaded, search the Channel Store.

Yes. The app is available on most Fire TV devices; anything recent should have no problem running it.

Yes, there’s an official client for Google TV. You can even choose to install the app during first-time setup.

Yes, you can watch Apple TV Plus on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

This seems to be at least a part of its growth strategy, but mostly in service of new originals. Don’t count on Seinfeld showing up anytime soon.

Apple TV Plus is available in a whole host of countries, including the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. For the full list of countries, click here.

Help other readers out

Have you used Apple TV Plus yet, or are you a current subscriber? If so, make your voice heard in our polls below!

Would you recommend Apple TV Plus to a friend?

953 votes

Is the pricing fair for what Apple TV Plus has to offer?

900 votes

What device/platform do you use Apple TV Plus on primarily?

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Any streaming services you'd recommend over Apple TV Plus?

944 votes

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