November has been a huge month for the streaming services industry, as the two biggest new services in this growing industry have now landed!
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. That said, adding two new services can be expensive. If you have 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. Also, the company is offering anyone who purchases a new iPhone, iPad, Mac PC or an Apple TV set-top box a free year of Apple TV Plus.
Disney Plus costs $6.99 a month with a seven-day free trial, and Disney is also offering an annual subscription that’s priced at $69.99 a year. There’s also a bundle deal that includes Disney Plus, Hulu (with ads) and ESPN Plus for $12.99 a month. That cuts the price of an individual Disney Plus subscription down to $4.33 a month. Verizon Wireless 4G and 5G unlimited customers will even get one year of Disney Plus for free. That offer will extend 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 up front for a video streaming subscription. Apple TV Plus is not only cheaper, but if you are going to get a new Apple hardware product a year 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
Apple TV Plus is available via the Apple TV app for iOS and Mac devices, as well as Apple TV boxes. It’s also 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. The app is also available on Amazon Fire TV and Roku TVs, streaming sticks and set-top boxes.
There are no plans for an Apple TV app for Android devices. However, those users can watch Apple TV Plus content on their Chrome or Firefox browsers. There’s no indication that Apple TV Plus apps will be available for any game 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 support Chromecast dongles, as well as TVs with built-in Chromecast. It also supports viewing over a web browser and even has apps on the 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.
As you can see, Disney Plus is nearly everywhere already and so it wins the platform category, at least for now.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus – Availability
This category, at least during launch, is an easy one to pick a winner. Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1 in over 100 countries. Disney Plus will launch in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands on November 12, and will expand to Australia and New Zealand on November 19. While Disney plans to make its service available worldwide in two years, 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 will be 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 U.S. and the Soviet Union never ended.
- Dickinson – This will be a comedy centering on a fictional version of the poet Emily Dickinson, as played by Hailee Steinfeld.
- Helpsters – A new children’s series from the makers of Sesame Street.
- Snoopy in Space – A new Peanuts animated series centering on Snoopy as he follows his dreams of becoming an astronaut.
- Ghostwriter – A 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 – A documentary that follows an African elephant and her herd.
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.
Disney Plus Content Library
Disney Plus is going after a family audience with its content. Here’s a look at original content so far:
- Noelle – a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick as the daughter of Santa Claus. The movie also stars Bill Hader.
- Lady and the Tramp – a live action-CGI remake of the classic Disney animated film.
- The Mandalorian – A 10-episode live-action TV series based in the Star Wars universe and centering on an unnamed Mandalorian bounty hunter.
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum – A NatGeo series centering on actor Jeff Goldblum and his look at interesting things on the planet.
- High School Musical – The Musical: The Series – A TV series reboot of the popular Disney Channel movie series.
- The Imagineering Story – A six-part docuseries that focuses on the works of the Imagineers. They have combined art and engineering to bring the Disney parks attractions to life.
Unfortunately original content is more than a little lacking right now. Of course most folks are coming to the service for Disney’s incredible back catalog. Disney Plus has a massive library content from its vast array of classic movies and TV shows. You can watch nearly all the Star Wars movies, all the Pixar films, a selection of Marvel Studios movies, and of course thousands of films and TV episodes from the main Disney library. It is also home for a lot of content that Disney acquired from 20th Century Fox, including the entire Simpsons TV series and much more.
Of course, 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 will have more original shows when it launches, but Disney Plus’ vast amount of library content trumps what Apple will have at launch. Disney Plus wins in terms of launch content, hands down.
Both services are free of ads or commercials, which is a plus (no pun intended). Both support downloading of 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 is 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 (s0metimes both) in nearly 40 languages at launch along with audio descriptions in eight languages.While it’s impressive that Apple TV Plus will have a ton of language options at launch, we would like to have more info on its profile and parental guidance features.
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 a free year of the service is also a feather in its cap. If you live outside North America, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, Apple TV Plus is the only option and still a great one.
Which of these two services do you plan to sign up and watch on its launch date?