Welp, Apple Music and Apple TV+ suddenly got more expensive this week. As of Oct. 24, Apple Music now costs $11/month for an individual subscription (previously $10) and $17 for a family plan (up from $15). Apple TV+ is now $7/month (up from $5/month).
Apple told CNN Business it has raised prices to cover increased content licensing and production costs now that the services have grown and the company is buying or producing more exclusive content for its subscribers.
While I guess I can buy that excuse, I also understand why subscribers might be ticked off about it. Everything in our lives is more expensive than it was just a few months ago, and even a just few extra bucks a month for streaming entertainment feels like adding insult to injury (and might be enough to prompt a streaming service audit).
Because Apple isn’t the only company raising prices. Hulu’s plans jumped from $7/month to $8/month for ad-supported access, and the ad-free option is now $15/month, from $12/month previously. Similarly, Disney+ increased subscriptions prices by $3/month, to around $11/month, for ad-free watching, and will roll out an $8/month ad-supported option in December ($8 being what ad-free streaming costs now). Netflix, which raised prices earlier this year and is currently planning to put an end to free password sharing, will also add a $7/month ad-based subscription.
In light of all these price changes, here’s a quick price comparison between each of the major music and video streaming services, to help you judge how Apple’s products compare.
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Music streaming services cost comparison (October 2022)
- Individual plan: $11/month
- Family plan: $17/month
- Amazon Prime Music: Included with Amazon Prime subscription ($14/month or $139/year)
- Amazon Music Unlimited (for Prime members): $9/month, $89/year, or $5/month to stream to an Echo device
- Amazon Music Unlimited (non-Prime members): $10/month
- Individual: $10/month
- Duo: $13/month
- Family: $16/month
- Student: $5/month
- Individual: 10/month or $100/year
- Family: $15/month
- Student: $5/month
- HiFi: $10/month
- HiFi Plus: $20/month
Apple Music used to be the cheapest of the major premium music streamers, but it’s now the most expensive—though not by much. Apple Music’s individual and family plans are just a dollar or two more than the same option from other music streaming apps.
Of course, there’s more to picking a streaming app than just price. Each has its own library of songs, and some artists are exclusive to a particular service. There’s also the question of which option is most friendly to the artists who rely on streaming revenue as income. If you prefer Apple Music’s features and library, you’re probably fine sticking with it. If not, save a buck or two and try one of the others.
In some cases, you can even move (most) of your data and song library over to a new service with the help of third-party tools.
TV/Film streaming services cost comparison (October 2022)
- With ads: $8/month or $80/year
- Without ads: $11/month
Amazon Prime Video:
- Included with Amazon Prime subscription ($14/month or $139/year)
- Non-Prime membership: $9/month
- With ads: $10/month or $70/year
- Ad-free: $15/month or $105/year
- With ads: $8/month or $80/year
- No ads: $15/month
- Hulu (with ads) plus Live TV (includes Disney + and ESPN+): $70/month
- Hulu (no ads) plus Live TV (includes Disney + and ESPN+): $76/month
- Basic with ads $7/month (Available Novermber 2022)
- Basic: $10/month
- Standard: $15.49/month
- Premium: $20/month
- Peacock Premium (no ads): $5/month
- Peacok Plus (ad-free): $10/month
While Apple Music is a closer call, Apple TV+ us still one of the more affordable video streaming services, even after the price hike, at just $7/month without ads. The ad-supported options from Peacock ($5/month), Hulu ($8/month), Disney+ ($8/month), and Netflix’s upcoming ad-supported $7 tier are the only other major player options that come close, and you will have to deal with annoying commercials. It’s possible Apple TV+ could roll out an ad-supported option (and this price-hike certainly makes such a move more plausible), but for now, Apple TV+ is the cheapest option for entirely ad-free streaming.
To be fair, Apple TV+’s library is slimmer than some of its more expensive competitors, primarily featuring its own exclusive original programming, but you also get occasional live MLB games, and starting in 2023, live MLS matches.
Unlike music streaming services, you’re unlikely to find much crossover in the content libraries between these apps; exclusive content really is the main reason to subscribe to one over the other. If you’re into Apple TV+’s original content, you’re stick paying for it, so hopefully a few extra bucks isn’t a dealbreaker for you. I personally wouldn’t drop it in favor of a more expensive alternative unless I’d exhausted my Apple TV+ to-watch list, or found another company’s exclusive programming is more interesting.
I think there’s an argument to be made that Apple TV+ is still a better deal at $7/month than some of its competitors (Apple TV+’s Severence is more worth it than subscribing to Peacock just to rewatch The Office). That said, if you’re simply fed up with the extra charge, I don’t blame you for axing Apple TV+ and/or Apple Music. The prices still might be reasonable when judges against similar services, but that only matters if the cost is worth it to you.