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Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: Which one should you pick?
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 $6.99 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?
Read more: Best streaming services
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. You can sign up for those services at the links below:
Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: Price
When it launched in 2019, Apple TV Plus definitely had a rock-bottom price for its service at just $4.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial. Apple hardware buyers can also get a three-month trial for Apple TV Plus. However, in October 2022, the company unexpectedly raised the price for the service to $6.99 a month. At the time, Apple said the big reason was that there was much more content on the service compared to its initial launch three years ago, so that justified the price hike.
Also read: How to get Apple TV Plus for free
Netflix has four different price points for its service at the moment. Its lowest price tier, available currently in 12 territories, including the US, is $6.99 a month, which matches the price for Apple TV Plus. However, that price is for the Basic with Ads plan, which only supports one device at a time and adds commercials at the beginning and during movies and TV shows. For most territories, the Basic plan is still available at $9.99 a month. It supports one concurrent stream, 720p video resolution, and no ads. The second tier costs $15.49 monthly, with two concurrent streams and 1080p resolution. The third tier costs $19.99 monthly, with four streams simultaneously 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, this plan is unavailable in most countries 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 website: tv.apple.com. Apple also launched its TV app for Roku and Amazon Fire TV smart sticks, set-top boxes, and smart TVs.
Smart TVs and set-top boxes with Android TVs also have the Apple TV app as well. In 2020, Apple TV Plus expanded access to LG and Vizio smart TVs as well. It’s also available on Sony’s Playstation 4 and 5 game consoles and Microsoft’s Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X game consoles. While this is to be expected, there are no plans to offer the Apple TV Plus app for Android smartphones or tablets. Those users can watch Apple TV Plus content on their Chrome or Firefox browsers.
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, although Apple TV Plus could catch up later.
Netflix vs Apple TV Plus: Availability
Apple TV Plus is available in over 100 countries. That’s because the service has very little older content. Getting the rights to many older TV shows and movies in different territories for streaming services costs both time and money.
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 – This 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 children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street.
- Mythic Quest — Two of the three creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, team up once again for this comedy series about a video game development studio.
- Amazing Stories — A revival of the classic sci-fi anthology TV series, which is once again produced by Steven Spielberg.
- Defending Jacob — Chris Evans stars in this show as a lawyer who has a son that’s arrested for murder.
- Central Park — A new animated series with a voice cast that includes Josh Gad and Kristen Bell.
- Ted Lasso — A sitcom about a failed US football coach who is recruited to coach a UK soccer team.
- The Mosquito Coast – A new adaptation of the novel by Paul Theroux about a man who suddenly uproots his family from the US to Latin America.
- Foundation — An adaptation of the classic sci-fi book series by Isacc Asimov about a vast galactic empire that is on the brink of falling.
- Severance – An acclaimed sci-fi series about people who, through an implanted chip in their head, completely separate their work memories from memories outside of work.
Apple also has a ton of upcoming original shows and movies in the works and you can check out a list of those shows on 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 have lost some content in recent years 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.
Apple TV Plus has no ads on its service at all even at its low $6.99 a month price point. Netflix’s ad-free plans start at $9.99 a month. Both support downloading of content for offline viewing, although Netflix’s Basic with Ads plan does not. 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 with Netflix.
Apple TV Plus content is either 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 had 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 still has a low price point even with its recent price hike. Its availability nearly all over the world is a huge advantage for this new service. The fact that every new Apple hardware device will get three free months of the service is also a feather in its cap. If you bought a new hardware product from Apple, checking out Apple TV Plus for three months is a no-brainer. It also has a lot of great shows and movies to stream, with more to come. In fact, one could make the argument that the service has more quality shows and movies per release than any other of the major services.
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 we had to pick a winner, we would choose Netflix over Apple TV Plus just for its vast amount of content. However, thanks to the low cost of Apple TV Plus, combined with a growing number of acclaimed shows and movies, we would suggest subscribing to both.