Just look at all of the names who have committed to building series for Apple TV Plus: Steven Spielberg, Steve Carell, Chris Evans, the NBA star Kevin Durant, Kristen Bell, Rashida Jones, and Oprah Winfrey (to name a few).
Questions about quality aside, these are A-listers you don’t usually see attached to streaming services. Netflix and HBO get some pretty big names too, including some of the names above, but Apple and Disney are going to attract a lot of big-name Hollywood talents. That will put more pressure on Netflix and HBO to continually do the same.
Netflix has three plans:
- “Basic” limits you to one screen and is standard-definition only. It costs $9 a month.
- “Standard” gives you high-definition video and lets you watch two screens at once. That costs $13 a month.
- “Premium” offers 4K support (on content where it’s available), and you can watch on four screens at once. It costs $16 a month.
All these streaming services start to add up. Hulu can cost anywhere from $6 a month to $12 a month. Amazon Prime Video can cost $9 a month, though it’s included if you’re an Amazon Prime member.
If you want all the above services, plus the new ones from Apple and Disney, it’s going to cost you: If you buy into all the above services – Apple TV Plus, Disney Plus, a standard Netflix subscription, HBO Now, and Hulu – you’re going to pay around $46 a month.
HBO is in pretty good shape, even after the global bow of “Game of Thrones.” It has a ton of hit shows, big-name actors, and interesting series, like “Watchmen,” “Euphoria,” and “Silicon Valley.” It has always been a premium service, so don’t expect much to change there. HBO will also have a new service, HBO Max, coming in 2020, and the company is pouring a ton of resources into it.
Netflix, on the other hand, is perhaps the most popular streaming service – for shows like “Stranger Things,” movies like “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” and excellent docuseries like the new “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner” series from David Chang – but it also has a ton of programming I’ll just never watch. Netflix could definitely be pickier about which shows and movies it chooses to produce.
As Apple and Disney release their streaming services, it will be interesting to see how these mainstays respond. There will be more pressure to create shows that are not just good but phenomenal – both popular and critically acclaimed. Hopefully, these services (particularly Netflix and HBO) choose to also reexamine their own monthly prices.
But two things are certain: More competition in this space is a very good thing, and there has never been a better time to be a cord cutter.