Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: could Apple eclipse its biggest rival?

It’s lastly right here: Apple has introduced its flagship streaming service, Apple TV Plus, on the tech large’s star-studded keynote occasion on the Steve Jobs theatre in San Cupertino, California. 

With a parade of Hollywood actors and administrators, together with Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Aniston (and even Sesame Street’s Big Bird) taking to the stage to advertise their unique Apple TV Plus exhibits, Apple appears to be taking intention at Netflix’s widespread Originals programming.

So, how does the brand new streaming service differ from Netflix? And could it really pose a menace to the preferred streaming platform on the planet? Read on for our tackle Apple’s first foray into the world of TV and film streaming.

Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: overview 

Aside from being the preferred streaming service on the planet, Netflix has grow to be one thing of a cultural icon, even inspiring its personal lexicon – everyone knows what it means to ‘Netflix and chill’ (for those who don’t, ask an acceptable grownup), and most of the people have been on an uncontrollable ‘Netflix binge’.

With a wide-reaching mixture of authentic and licensed exhibits and films, Netflix’s big number of content material, in addition to its ease of use, has given start to the cult of binge-watching.

Apple, however, could have some technique to go if it’s to unseat Netflix from its throne with Apple TV Plus, its new ad-free subscription service, which is ready to launch on November 1. 

However, with a number of unique packages with some very well-known faces connected, Apple could doubtlessly rival Netflix’s Originals – if it may possibly match Netflix’s prodigious output that’s. 

From the sounds of issues, Apple might be releasing “new additions every month”, but it surely hasn’t confirmed how a lot new content material we are able to anticipate every month. 

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Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: worth and availability

Apple TV Plus is ready to launch on the brand new and improved Apple TV app, which in flip is coming to a variety of good TVs in May, in addition to to set-top containers and streaming sticks from rival firms like Roku and Amazon.

We discovered again in January that the Apple TV app was coming to a variety of good TVs – in ranges by Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio – along with Apple’s personal set-top field and streaming participant, the Apple TV.

This means Apple TV Plus will not be restricted to Apple TV units – and shifting the app onto rival units is a dangerous transfer by Apple, because it could cut back the variety of customers shopping for into Apple TV {hardware}. We’re questioning if Apple is trying to section out this {hardware} with a view to concentrate on the improved Apple TV app.

It was initially rumored that Apple’s new streaming service would barely undercut Netflix’s month-to-month subscription value.

Tim Cook has lastly revealed the discharge date and worth of Apple TV Plus on the iPhone 11 launch. It might be out there from November 1 2019, and can value $4.99 monthly / £4.99 ( AU$7), vastly undercutting Netflix – and a subscription may be shared by as much as six members of the family.

Cook additionally confirmed {that a} one-year subscription to the service will come free with new iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs.

Having lately upped its costs, the most affordable Netflix plan is at the moment $9 / £5.99 / AU$9.99, whereas its HD Standard plan (the preferred) prices $13 / £7.99 / AU$13.99. 

For followers of Ultra HD streaming, the 4K Premium plan is on the market for $16 / £9.99 / AU$17.99.


Netflix is on the market to make use of on an enormous vary of units, which will even synchronize with one another – this implies you can begin watching a present in your desktop browser, pause it, and decide up in the very same place when logging again in in your big-screen TV. 

Depending on which subscription package deal you go for, you’ll be able to watch Netflix on as much as 4 screens at one time. 

As effectively as your laptop, gaming console, and built-in TV purposes there are Android and iOS apps, in addition to an entire suite of set-top streaming containers that gives you entry to Netflix’s video library.

We nonetheless do not know precisely how you’ll watch Apple TV Plus; on the launch occasion Tim Cook made no point out of units like Android TV, PC desktops and laptops, gaming consoles, and non-Apple tablets.

If Apple TV Plus is relegated to Apple units apart from the aforementioned good TVs and streaming containers, it is troublesome to see the way it could show a real rival to Netflix, which is on the market on a plethora of units and working methods.

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The new Apple TV interface (Image credit score: Apple)

Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: options and consumer interface

One of the most effective issues about Netflix is the way it tailors its content material to you, with its suggestion algorithm studying your preferences as you watch. As a end result, it’s then in a position to modify how content material is positioned on your private home display screen, recommending exhibits and films you might like based mostly in your watching habits.

While we do not know the way the Apple TV Plus part of the Apple TV app will work precisely, we do know that the up to date model of the app makes use of “machine learning” to show exhibits you might need to watch close to the highest of your private home display screen… very similar to Netflix does. 

Another motive for Netflix’s reputation is its intuitive consumer interface, which makes it straightforward to navigate exhibits and movies you’ve saved to your ‘list’, in addition to making it straightforward to look by style, director, actor and extra. 

Again, whereas we do not know what the Apple TV Plus a part of the app will seem like precisely, the remainder of the redesigned Apple TV app seems relatively enticing. At the highest of the display screen there are classes like ‘Movies’ and ‘Sports’, the place you’ll be able to select the place you get your content material, from quite a lot of ‘Apple Channels’.

You might need to watch drama exhibits by way of Hulu and get sports activities out of your cable supplier – these are a part of Apple’s ‘Channels’, which exist individually from Apple TV Plus (i.e. you may want to purchase a subscription to every supplier or platform must you need to watch its content material).


On the technological facet of issues, Netflix’s dynamically-scaling streams imply you do not want to decide on the standard stage you need to watch at. If your bandwidth is low it’s going to ship simply the usual definition variations, however for those who’ve obtained the {hardware} and the capability it’s going to go all the way in which as much as 4K Ultra HD resolutions if out there.

Apple hasn’t made any point out of 4K help for Apple TV Plus to date, however we might be very shocked if its authentic content material wasn’t out there in Ultra HD – in any case, Apple has made a giant deal about working with the “world’s most celebrated creative artists”, and it will be an enormous anticlimax if these artists’ work could solely be watched in ‘regular’ HD.

Beyond greater resolutions, Netflix additionally means that you can obtain chosen exhibits and films for offline viewing. Downloads keep in your library for 30 days at a time, and can mechanically expire at the moment – even when it is on a tool that is not related to the web. 

Apple says content material on the Apple TV app might be “available on and offline”, and we assume that features Apple TV Plus content material as effectively.

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Steve Carrell, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Anniston current their new present on the Apple occasion (Image credit score: TechRadar)

Apple TV Plus vs Netflix: content material

Netflix has an enormous vary of exclusives, originals and classics to get caught into, and is quick turning into a revered distributor of authentic motion pictures and TV collection, with Netflix Original Roma taking the award for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film on the Oscars earlier this 12 months. 

Its best-known authentic collection embody Orange Is The New Black, Bojack Horseman, Stranger Things, Daredevil, Maniac, and House of Cards. 

It’s these exhibits that Apple desires to rival with its personal authentic programming by means of Apple TV Plus, with a parade of Hollywood stars out in drive on the launch occasion to introduce their new Apple TV Plus unique exhibits. 

Steven Spielberg introduced that he is resurrecting his ‘Amazing Stories’ anthology collection that first hit our screens within the mid-eighties, whereas Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell debuted The Morning Show, a collection that examines the ”advanced relationships between women and men within the office” within the framework of a morning information present.

Apple has lastly launched a full trailer for The Morning Show – and the drama seems to be loads darker than we imagined.

Other collection bulletins embody Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodward’s dystopian thriller ‘See’, the place the world is blind after a virus wipes out sight and a lot of the human race, in addition to Kumail Nanjiani’s ‘Little America’, which is able to depict quick tales from immigrants.  

There’s one thing for teenagers as effectively, with a brand new Sesame Street spin-off present referred to as Helpsters that is all about coding.

While these exhibits might sound nice, it does not seem like Apple will be capable of match the sheer quantity of content material on provide from Netflix at launch – and there is a massive, gaping film-shaped gap within the new streaming service. However, if Apple does launch new content material each month because it says it’s going to, and will get some authentic or syndicated motion pictures onto the platform, it could quickly catch up.

Big Bird and Cody at the Apple Keynote (Image credit: TechRadar)

Big Bird and Cody on the Apple Keynote (Image credit score: TechRadar)

Of course, it’s not solely about authentic content material; an enormous a part of Netflix’s success rides on the big number of syndicated content material it places out, starting from gritty thrillers like Breaking Bad to grownup cartoons like Rick and Morty – to not point out its intensive vary of children exhibits and films. 

Apple TV Plus, however, will not provide any licensed content material in any respect. For now, you may nonetheless have to purchase these exhibits a la carte by means of iTunes or by way of your terrestrial cable app in Apple TV Channels. 


At this early stage there is no method of realizing whether or not Apple TV Plus will pose an actual menace to Netflix – however judging from the shortage of syndicated content material and (for now) the sparse programming roster, it most likely will not be catching up any time quickly. 

However, Apple TV Plus could show an issue for Netflix by way of high quality; Apple has a powerful lineup of well-known creatives behind its authentic programming, and an actual concentrate on high-quality content material.

Of course Netflix additionally places an emphasis on high quality, as its Oscar success with Roma exhibits, however everyone knows there are additionally some really horrible movies and exhibits on the platform, and we doubt Apple will comply with swimsuit in that respect. 

While we do know that the Apple TV app is coming to a variety of good TVs, in addition to set-top containers and streaming sticks from rival firms like Roku and Amazon, we nonetheless do not know whether or not it’s going to out there to look at on Android TV, PC desktops and laptops, gaming consoles, and non-Apple tablets.

The value is a large level of differentiation between Apple TV Plus and Netflix, with Apple undercutting Netflix by practically $4. 

Either method, we’ll have to attend till later this 12 months to search out out whether or not Apple TV Plus threatens Netflix’s place because the world’s favourite streaming platform.

And with Disney launching its personal Disney Plus streaming service this 12 months too, the query of streaming supremacy will doubtless solely get more durable to reply.

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