The battle for your streaming video subscription dollars will be getting a lot more crowded in November. That’s when the two biggest new services in this growing industry are scheduled to go live. Disney Plus (launching November 12) and Apple TV Plus (launching November 1) will both offer what looks like some excellent original 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.
However, we also know that your dollars are most likely limited when it comes to adding a new streaming video service to your monthly bills. So if you are deciding between Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus, we will compare and contrast both services, as best as we can, before they launch. We will also give you our pick on which one of these “Netflix killers” you should sign up for.
So let’s get started on the battle of Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus – Price
Let’s get this category out of the way first: Apple TV Plus will cost just $4.99 a month when it launches, with a seven-day free trial. 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. While that won’t likely be a big deal for buyers of new iPhone, iPad or Mac devices, it could prompt people to purchase one of the company’s Apple TV boxes, which have always been higher priced than its hardware competition from Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Disney Plus will cost $6.99 a month for its launch, with a seven-day free trial, and Disney is also offering an annual subscription that’s priced at $69.99 a year. The company also gave people a chance to purchase a three-year subscription to Disney Plus for about a week in late August and early September for $140.97. While that offer has since expired, that gave those folks a way to get Disney Plus for around $3.92 a month. There’s no word if Disney plans to bring back this promotion again.
Finally, there’s a bundle deal that will be offered that allows buyers to get Disney Plus, Hulu (with ads) and ESPN Plus for $12.99 a month. That would cut the price of an individual Disney Plus subscription down to $4.33 a month, or a bit lower than the price of Apple TV Plus.
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 will not only be cheaper out of the gate, but if you are going to get a new Apple hardware product anyway, having 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 will be available via the Apple TV app for iOS and Mac devices, as well as Apple TV boxes. It will also be available 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. Apple says that the app will also be released “in the future” for Amazon Fire TV and Roku TVs, streaming sticks and set-top boxes, along with select Sony, LG and Vizio smart TVs.
While this was expected, there’s no mention of launching an Apple TV Plus app for Android devices, but in theory, those users could watch 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 will also launch on iOS devices, and Apple TV. More importantly for Android phone and tablet owners, a Disney Plus app will also be available for those devices. It will also support Chromecast dongles, as well as TVs with built-in Chromecast, along with Android TV-based televisions and set-top boxes like the NVIDIA Shield.
Disney Plus will also be available via PC on web browsers but specifics have not been revealed. Disney Plus apps will launch for Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 consoles, and for Roku TVs, streaming sticks and set-top boxes. However, there’s been no announcement of a Disney Plus app for Amazon Fire tablets, or Fire TVs streaming sticks and set-top boxes. Also, there’s been no confirmation of a Disney App for the Nintendo Switch console, even though a slide from Disney’s investor day event showed the app running on the Switch.
The lack of a Disney Plus app for Amazon’s Fire TV and tablet devices is fairly significant as that platform is pretty popular. However, including the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles, along with Roku, Android TV and Chromecast support, means that Disney Plus will likely be on more big-screen televisions than Apple TV Plus at launch. While Android owners can possibly watch Apple TV Plus on a browser, the lack of a dedicated app for the biggest mobile OS in the world is still a bit disappointing.
It looks like Disney Plus wins the platform category, at least during the launch, although Apple TV Plus could catch up later.
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.
Disney Plus vs Apple TV Plus – Content library
Apple TV Plus is going to have some interesting original shows that cover nearly every age and demographic. Here’s what’s planned for the service when it goes live on November 1
- 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.
In addition, Apple TV Plus will feature Oprah Winfrey as she relaunches her popular book club feature as a launch title for the service. 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 is going after a family audience with its content. Here’s a look at what will be available, in terms of exclusive shows and movies, for the November 12 launch date
- 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.
More importantly, Disney Plus will have a massive library content from its vast array of classic movies and TV shows. You will be able to 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 will also be the home for a lot of content that Disney acquired from 20th Century Fox, including the entire Simpsons TV series and much more. Finally, it will be the home for lots of documentaries and shows from the National Geographic channel.
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 will not feature any ads or commercials, which is a plus (no pun intended). Both will support downloading of content for offline viewing, and both will also support streaming shows and movies at 4K resolution. Disney Plus will support streaming for up to 10 devices at once, with up to four concurrent streams at once. Apple TV Plus will support up to six people for one account, but Apple has yet to reveal just how many devices can support streaming at once, and it also has not revealed how many concurrent streams it will allow on one account.
The Disney Plus app and UI will include special sections for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic brands, but there will also be sections in the interface so users can see all of the service’s movies, TV shows and original content. Users will be able to 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 will also have 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 will either be subtitled or dubbed (s0metimes both) in nearly 40 languages at launch along with audio descriptions in eight languages. However, Apple has yet to announce any parental controls for the service, or how individual profiles will be handled. 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. Therefore, we will give this category an “incomplete” grade until we know more.
And the winner is . . .
Apple TV Plus has a low price point, and 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 gets the win, at least for now.
However, if you do live in the launch countries of Disney Plus, the simple fact is it will come out of the gate with a ton more content to watch than Apple Plus, and will add more and more in the months and years to come and that more than makes up for its higher price point. It will also expand to many more countries in the coming months.
While Apple Plus looks like it will have a lot of great shows to watch (we really want to see For All Mankind and See), if we had to pick between these two services, Disney Plus gets the win, at least for now. The idea of watching all that great Disney content, plus all the new and cool exclusive shows, is just too much for Apple Plus to content with.
Which of these two services do you plan to sign up and watch on its launch date?