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Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus: Battle of the "Netflix killers"
Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus both offer a compelling catalog of content, and at prices that beat the costs of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and (in the case of Apple Plus) even Hulu‘s already low $5.99 monthly plan. If you haven’t picked up either, now is the right time. But if you had to pick just one, which should you get? Let’s get started on the battle of Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus — Price
Apple TV Plus costs just $4.99 a month with a seven-day free trial. It’s also offering an annual subscription for $49.99. The company used to offer anyone who purchases a new iPhone, iPad, Mac PC, or an Apple TV set-top box a free year of Apple TV Plus. However, that deal is being retired as of July 1, and now new hardware buyers will only get three free months of the service.
Disney Plus currently costs $7.99 a month, and Disney is also offering an annual subscription that’s priced at $79.99 a year.
Read more: Mulan on Disney Plus
There’s also a bundle deal that includes Disney Plus, Hulu (with ads), and ESPN Plus for $13.99 a month. You can get the same bundle with the no-ads Hulu plan for $19.99 a month. Verizon Wireless 4G and 5G unlimited customers get up to one year of Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus for free. That offer also extends to Verizon’s Fios and 5G home internet subscribers.
While Disney is trying to lower the price of Disney Plus through bundle deals and annual subscriptions, the truth is that many people don’t want to pay that much upfront for a video streaming subscription. Apple TV Plus is not only cheaper, but if you are going to get a new Apple hardware product, three months of this service for free is a nice addition. Therefore, we have to give this price battle to the folks at Cupertino.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus — Platforms
There are no plans for an Apple TV app for Android devices. Recently, Apple TV Plus apps were added to the Playstation 4 and 5 consoles, along with the Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.
Disney Plus is also available on iOS devices and Apple TV. More importantly for Android phone and tablet owners, Disney supports Android out of the gate. It also supports Chromecast dongles, as well as TVs with built-in Chromecast. It also supports viewing over a web browser and even has apps on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 consoles. Let’s not forget about Roku TVs, streaming sticks, and set-top boxes. Lastly, there’s support for Amazon Fire TV sticks and televisions, along with Samsung, Vizio, and LG smart TVs.
Because Disney Plus is on Android mobile devices, it wins the platform category, at least for now.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus — Availability
It’s easy to pick a winner in this category. Apple TV Plus is available in over 100 countries. Disney Plus launched in 2019 in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. It expanded to the UK and other European countries along with Japan and India in 2020. Disney plans to make its service available worldwide in two years. However, we have to give the availability win out of the gate to Apple TV Plus.
Apple TV Plus content library
Apple TV Plus has some interesting original shows that cover nearly every age and demographic:
- 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.
- Defending Jacob – Chris Evans stars in this mystery series centering on a lawyer whose son is arrested on murder charges.
- Central Park – A animated series about the people who live and work around New York City’s Central Park.
- Ted Lasso – This series is all about a US football coach who is recruited to coach a UK soccer team.
Apple also has a ton of upcoming original shows and movies in the works, which you can check out on our main Apple TV Plus page.
Disney Plus content library
Disney Plus is going after a family audience with its content. Its biggest hit by far is The Mandalorian, a live-action TV series based in the Star Wars universe and centering on a Mandalorian bounty hunter. The show is now in its second season. The service also has a number of other original scripted TV shows and movies, along with some original documentary and reality show content.
Unfortunately, original content is more than a little lacking right now. Most folks are coming to the service for Disney’s incredible back catalog. Disney Plus has a massive library of content from its vast array of classic movies and TV shows. You can watch all the Star Wars movies, all the Pixar films, most of the Marvel Studios movies, and of course thousands of films and TV episodes from the main Disney library. It is also home to a lot of content that Disney acquired from 20th Century Fox, including the entire Simpsons TV series and much more. If you live outside the US, you can also access more mature content on Disney Plus with the recently added Star brand.
Disney also has plans for a ton of exclusive series and movies that will only be found on Disney Plus, including several Star Wars and Marvel-based live-action and animated shows. You can check out the list of planned original content at our main Disney Plus page.
Apple TV Plus has more original shows, but Disney Plus’ vast amount of library content trumps what Apple currently has. Disney Plus wins in terms of overall content.
Both services are free of ads or commercials, which is a plus (no pun intended). Both support downloading content for offline viewing, and both support streaming shows and movies at 4K resolution. Disney Plus supports streaming for up to 10 devices at once, with up to four concurrent streams at once. Apple TV Plus supports up to six people for one account.
The Disney Plus app and UI includes special sections for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic brands, but there are also sections in the interface so users can see all of the service’s movies, TV shows, and original content. Users can even create up to seven custom individual profiles so that kids can see the shows and movies they are interested in, while their older parents can see their preferred content. Disney Plus also has a Kids Mode, which will include parental controls so parents can keep their kids from seeing content that’s out of their age group.
Apple TV Plus content is either subtitled or dubbed (sometimes both) in nearly 40 languages at launch along with audio descriptions in eight languages. While it’s impressive that Apple TV Plus has a ton of language options at launch, we still give the win to Disney Plus for more support for concurrent devices and a better UI.
And the winner is…
Considering the lack of true Android support and the fact that Disney Plus gives you access to a lot more (even if the originals aren’t great), we recommend Disney Plus if you can only choose one.
That said, Apple TV Plus has a low price point. Its 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 three months of the service is also a feather in its cap. If you live outside the regions where Disney Plus is not available, Apple TV Plus is a great choice.