The battle for your streaming subscription dollars is getting more crowded every day. Apple TV Plus launched in November 2019. It offers a small but growing number of high-end TV shows and movies for $4.99 a month, and competes directly against all the other video streaming services, including Netflix. Which one should you pick in the battle between Apple TV Plus vs Netflix?
If you are deciding between Apple TV Plus vs Netflix, we want to help out in that decision. We will compare and contrast both services as best as we can.
Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: Price
Apple TV Plus definitely has a rock-bottom price for its service. It costs just $4.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial. There’s also an option to pay for a year for $49.99. Also, the company is offering anyone who purchases a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV set-top box a free year of Apple TV Plus. While that won’t likely be a big deal for buyers of new iPhone, iPad, or Mac devices, it could prompt people to purchase one of the company’s Apple TV boxes, which have always been higher priced than its hardware competition from Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Also read: How to get Apple TV Plus for free
Netflix is more expensive. It’s lowest price tier for most territories is $8.99 a month, which supports one concurrent stream and 480p video resolution. The second tier costs $12.99 a month, with two concurrent streams and 1080p resolution. The third tier costs $15.99 a month, with four streams at the same time and 4K resolution support.
Related: How much does a Netflix plan cost?
To be fair, Netflix is experimenting with “mobile only” subscriptions in certain markets. The price for that tier, which is only for smartphones and tablets, is less than $5 a month, where it is available. However, Netflix has not made it available in most of its countries.
Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: Platforms
Apple TV Plus is available via the Apple TV app for iOS and Mac devices, as well as Apple TV boxes. The app is also available on new Samsung smart TVs, and people who use the Safari, Firefox and Chrome browser can access Apple TV Plus content on a web site: tv.apple.com. Apple also launched its TV app for Roku and Amazon Fire TV smart sticks, set-top boxes, and smart TVs.
Some Sony smart TVs with Android TV also have the Apple TV app as well. In 2020, Apple TV Plus expanded access to LG and Vizio smart TVs as well. While this is to be expected, there are no plans to offer the Apple TV Plus app for Android smartphones or tablets. In theory, those users could watch content on their Chrome or Firefox browsers. There’s no indication that Apple TV Plus apps will be available for any game consoles.
As far as Netflix is concerned in terms of availability, the question is what devices don’t support it. It’s available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and it supports Roku and Amazon Fire TV-based devices, Chromecast dongles, and TVs with built-in Chromecast. It also supports Android TV-based televisions and set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield. Of course, Netflix is available via a variety of web browsers for PC laptops and desktops.
Netflix is also available on a ton of game consoles. That includes Microsoft’s Xbox One, Sony’s Playstation 4, and even Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS. Apps are available for a variety of smart TVs, cable boxes, and even Blu-ray players.
It looks like Netflix wins the platform category, at least during the launch, although Apple TV Plus could catch up later.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus: Availability
Apple TV Plus is available in over 100 countries at launch. That’s due to the fact that the service does not have any older content. Getting the rights to older TV shows and movies in different territories for streaming services costs both time and money. That’s while another new service, Disney Plus, is currently available in far fewer market.
Of course, Netflix is available pretty much everywhere, because it’s been around a lot longer. It’s currently in about 190 countries and territories. Only four countries don’t have Netflix: China, North Korea, Crimea, and Syria.
Netflix wins this category, even with the wide launch of Apple TV Plus.
Apple TV Plus shows and movies
Apple TV Plus has interesting original shows that cover nearly every age and demographic. Here’s just some of what’s available on the service today:
- The Morning Show – This is a drama centering on the behind-the-scenes antics at a national morning news TV show, starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell.
- See – See looks to be one of the biggest Apple TV Plus shows. It is an epic sci-fi drama set on Earth, centuries after a worldwide cataclysm has rendered all humans blind. It stars Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard.
- For All Mankind – Here’s yet another sci-fi series, this time set in an alternate timeline where the space race of the 1960s between the US and the Soviet Union never ended.
- Dickinson – This is a comedy centering on a fictional version of the poet Emily Dickinson, as played by Hailee Steinfeld.
- Helpsters – This is a new children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street.
- Snoopy in Space – This is a new Peanuts animated series centering on Snoopy as he follows his dreams of becoming an astronaut.
- Ghostwriter – Ghostwriter is new version of the classic children’s show, which focuses on four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore to fight creatures based on works of literature.
- The Elephant Queen – This is a documentary that follows an African elephant and her herd.
In addition, Apple TV Plus features Oprah Winfrey as she relaunches her popular book club feature as a launch title for the service. Apple also has a ton of upcoming original shows and movies in the works and you can check out a list of those shows at our main Apple TV Plus page.
The vast Netflix library
Thanks to Netflix’s already massive library of classic and exclusive content, there’s no question that it beats Apple TV Plus in this regard. Netflix may be losing some content to rivals like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Hulu, and Peacock. However, it’s also spending lots of money to fill up its service with tons of exclusive shows and movies.
Read more: What’s new on Netflix this month?
Apple TV Plus has a lot of solid original shows. However, Netflix simply has too big of a bench for both classic and original content. It’s the clear winner here.
Both services don’t feature any ads or commercials, which is a plus. Both support downloading of content for offline viewing. Both also support streaming shows and movies at 4K resolution, but you have to pay a lot more for that privilege on Netflix. Apple TV Plus will support up to six people for one account, while Netflix’s limit is four people for each account. Again, though, you have to pay extra for that support.
Apple TV Plus content will either be subtitled or dubbed (sometimes both) in nearly 40 languages at launch along with audio descriptions in eight languages. Netflix shows and movies are available in a variety of languages as well and each member can have his or her own profile. Netflix’s parental controls are also better than Apple TV Plus
It’s impressive that Apple TV Plus will have a ton of language options at launch, but Netflix beats it barely with its better use of profiles and parental controls.
And the winner is…
Apple TV Plus definitely has a low price point. It’s availability nearly all over the world at launch is a huge advantage for this new service. The fact that every new Apple hardware device will get a free year of the service is also a feather in its cap. If you bought a new hardware device from Apple, checking out Apple TV Plus for a year is a no-brainer.
Netflix does cost a lot more, but the truth is that it simply has far more content than Apple TV Plus. That situation isn’t going to change anytime soon, if ever. If you can’t get the deal for one year of free Apple TV Plus, we would suggest keeping your Netflix subscription. Down the road, Apple TV Plus will have a lot more content and that will definitely justify its cost, but not at the moment.