The market for streaming subscriptions continues to grow. The latest two services are called Disney+ and Apple TV+. We have compared their starter offers and will tell you which is currently offering more value for money and which has particularly fair terms and conditions.
The competition among providers for video streaming continues to grow. Due to the increasing differentiation of platforms by a growing amount of exclusive content, it is becoming more difficult to compare them fairly. Disney+ is now live in many parts of the world, meaning that the entertainment empire is withdrawing the marketing rights for Disney content from existing licensees - above all Netflix - and will not renew the contracts.
Just before Disney+ went live, Apple launched its own video streaming subscription service, Apple TV+. Buyers of a new Apple device will receive one-year free subscriptions, a promo that started in September 2019. Apple has also recently started to distinguish itself as a content producer and finances numerous in-house productions. Let's compare the two new Netflix alternatives directly.
Disney+ vs. Apple TV+
|March 24, 2020
|At any time at the end of the prepaid period
|At any time at the end of the prepaid period
|6 (family sharing)/6
|iOS, Apple TV, Android, Google (Chrome)cast, FireTV Stick, Smart TV, Web Browser, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
|iOS, Apple TV, FireTV Stick, Smart TV (list), Web Browser
|4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos
|4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Both Disney and Apple start with fair conditions. The monthly amount is low and a subscription can be used by many users at the same time. Apple TV+ refuses to cooperate with game consoles as well as Android devices and Chromecast sticks or cast-capable TV sets. Both services can be used most easily with a FireTV stick from Amazon. Disney+ will be compatible with Fire TV, contrary to what was announced recently.
Disney vs. Apple: who has the best content?
The Disney empire strikes back
We have already reported on some of the launch content for Disney+, back when the service was announced and more keeps on coming. The exact content mix you'll get depends on which country you are based in, just like it does with Netflix. However, here are some of the highlights that you will only get on Disney's service.
- Disney productions: Aladdin, Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers, etc.
- Pixar movies: Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Partly Cloudy, etc.
- Marvel content: Black Panther, Doctor Strange, X-Men, etc.
- Star Wars: all episodes, solo, Mandalorian, etc.
- National Geographic
The Verge published an excerpt from the Disney+ catalog for the USA in November. However, since the marketing rights of the titles have to be negotiated individually for each region, the catalog may be considerably smaller in your country. Netflix still holds some rights to Marvel and productions in some regions, for example. These contracts would have to expire before Disney can remove its content from its competitors.
The long-term trend is for Disney to offer all of its productions exclusively in its own service. Even franchises known from Netflix, such as 'Jessica Jones', will soon only be shown on Disney+, as media giant Marvel apparently made the better offer, according to Bloomberg. If Disney has enough exclusive hits in its service in this way, this will probably also have an effect on the price.
Apple reinvents itself
A look at the Apple TV+ catalog reveals that Apple relies almost entirely on in-house productions. The exclusive contents are exciting, but still quite few in number. That's why the low price for the subscription is only reasonable - especially since you get one year of Apple TV+ for free with the purchase of practically every Apple product.
Apple continues to produce diligently. MacWorld colleagues have created an extensive list of current and upcoming series for Apple TV+. Here, too, it is evident that Apple, with its iPhone billions, is both inventing new formats and reviving old franchises like Peanuts.
In their start-up phases, both Apple and Disney are tempting with low prices. As the market for video streaming services is not yet fully differentiated, there is still real competition between the new and old providers. Apple is taking off immediately with largely exclusive content, while Disney+ still has unfinished business with Netflix, among others.
In the long term, we have to expect that the services will only market their own productions. Hopefully, subscription prices and runtimes will not increase significantly and we will still be able to 'zap' between employees as we once did between TV channels.