Apple TV+’s Debut Will Be Sooner and Cheaper Than You Think

CBS All Access, Apple TV+

CBS All Access, Apple TV+

Tech giant Apple held its “By Innovation Only” event yesterday, and announced new details of its upcoming streaming video-on-demand service, Apple TV+. The September Apple event is a yearly tradition, where normally the focus is on new iPhones, maybe some Apple Watches, and a new iOS. But this year, Apple TV+ was a main focus for Apple-watchers and Hollywood-watchers alike, since the capital and talent behind the service have the potential to disrupt the mature SVOD landscape currently dominated by Netflix and Amazon.

So what’s the deal then? Straight from Cupertino, it’s now confirmed: Apple TV+ will be available from November 1st in over 100 countries, for just $4.99 a month, and a 7-day free trial. Customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will get a year’s free Apple TV+ service, and up to 6 family members can share a subscription, through Family Sharing.

Apple are not pulling punches here. At $4.99 a month (not including the free trial or free service), Apple TV+ undercuts the cheapest, ad-supported version of CBS All Access by at least $1 a month. It also undercuts Netflix and Amazon Prime Video by at least $3, and the upcoming Disney+ by $2 as well. For customers trying to save money, Apple TV+ will be a compelling offer. It’s worth noting that content will be a differentiator here - you still won’t be able to get Star Trek: Discovery or Picard, for instance, on Apple TV+ - but their pricing structure will put pressure on other services to either justify their higher price tags, or be forced to lower them.

It’s far too early to make any claims about what effect, if any, the entry of Apple TV+ into the market will mean for CBS All Access. But both Star Trek fans and CBS investors will want to keep a close eye on it. CBS All Access is the only place to watch new Star Trek content and if CBS struggles to retain their audience, then Star Trek could find itself growing less quickly than it anticipated back in May, when it launched its Global Franchise Group.

This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Alison Pitt is the writer, producer, and host of Daily Star Trek News, on the Roddenberry Podcast Network. A veteran Star Trek podcaster, she started her career on the weekly show Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast in 2015. She has appeared on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas, WonderCon, and San Diego Comic Con.

Alison Pitt