On Friday, Apple is launching its streaming service, Apple TV+, with Disney+ to follow in just a few weeks. While these two are by far the most highly-anticipated entrants in the streaming wars, they aren't the only new services vying for your attention and subscription dollars.
As the streaming wars heat up, you're probably wondering what all the hype is about and what it means to you. We broke down everything that's coming this fall (and beyond) to give you the complete guide to the streaming services.
Apple TV+ is the first of the major upcoming streaming services to launch, though it's also the most limited in terms of content. Apple is making a huge push to build a subscriber base, and has an ambitious plan to do that by giving every Mac or iPhone customer a year for free.
- Launch date: November 1
- Price: 7-day free trial, then $4.99 a month. Apple is giving a year free with a purchase of a new device starting back on September 10.
- Content: Mostly originals, launching with eight titles including The Morning Show, SEE, Dickinson, and For All Mankind. New content each month.
Disney has a huge advantage when it comes to content, in fact, it probably has the most valuable content library of any company. As a result, Disney shouldn't have any trouble signing up an audience, especially since it copied Apple's strategy and is giving Verizon customers a free year.
Launch date: November 12
Price: $6.99 per month or bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. Verizon is also offering Unlimited plan members a 12-month free Disney+ subscription for free.
Content: Disney's entire classic film and animated feature library, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, as well as new exclusive content that includes ten films and 25 original shows
HBO is going big with HBO Max, both with existing and future content. Not only did the company take back Friends and The West Wing from Netflix, but it recently signed a $200 million deal with JJ Abrams to produce content for the service. And last night, we finally got more information about just what to expect and when.
Launch date: May 2020
Price: $14.99 per month. Free for existing HBO customers, and certain AT&T bundles.
Content: AT&T says will launch with 10,000 hours of content. That including all episodes of Game of Thrones, Westworld and Silicon Valley. along with WarnerMedia classic content like Friends and The West Wing.
NBC/Universal has officially named its upcoming streaming service "Peacock," a nod to its colorful logo. One difference is that this service is expected to be heavily ad-supported, on top of charging a monthly fee for non-Comcast customers.
- Launch date: Spring 2020
- Price: $12 per month (expected), or free for Comcast cable customers
Content: NBC hits like The Office, Parks & Rec, and Everybody Loves Raymond, along with Universal blockbusters such as the Jurassic World series and Fast and Furious catalog
In what will be the third streaming service from Disney, ESPN+ is meant to complement your existing ESPN watching, with in-depth game analysis and highlights. It will broadcast games from the major sports leagues and feature original programming.
Launch date: Already available
Price: $5 per month or $50 annually
Content: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, as well as college football, international soccer, and tennis
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon's streaming video service isn't nearly as talked about as its rivals, but that doesn't mean it doesn't include a formidable library of licensed and original content. The latter includes some top-notch shows like Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Homecoming, and The Man in the High Castle. Still, it's one of the more confusing options considering the mix of included content as well as films available for rent (on top of the membership fee).
- Launch date: 2006
- Price: Included in an Amazon Prime Membership for $119 per year
- Content: Both original and licensed content, including The Shawshank Redemption and The Silence of the Lambs
For comparison's sake, it's only fair to include Netflix, though it's obviously not new. Still, with 150 million subscribers, it's currently the king of streaming video. In fact, each of the other options on this list is aiming squarely at Netflix's user base by bringing home their content to encourage viewers to sign up. Netflix isn't giving up, signing big-name talent of it's own.
- Launch date: 2007
- Price: $12.99 for the HD plan, which allows viewing on 2 screens
- Extensive library of licensed content, as well as original hits like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, and Mindhunter
Netflix's first competitor was originally a partnership between Fox, ABC, and NBC. Overtime, that has changed, with Disney (ABC's owner) now operating the service. Hulu is also unique, in that it's the only option on this list that, in addition to your standard streaming option, also include a Live TV option that makes it a real replacement for cable.
- Launch date: 2008
- Price: $5.99 or $11.99 with no ads. $44.99 for the Live TV version
- Content: Original content, the best known of which is The Handmaids Tale alongside licensed content.