Netflix just killed its Basic plan, forcing people to pay more for an ad-free experience. And the cost of all Peacock plans went up, with or without commercials.
Apple TV+, with no ads at all, looks like a better deal than ever.
Apple TV+ competitor Netflix gets more expensive
The streaming TV market is fiercely competitive. Apple TV+ tries to stand out with award-winning series and films, but it also undercuts its rivals on price. And that just got easier.
Netflix’s Basic plan let users watch 720p content on one screen for $10 per month and no adverts interrupting programs. But as of Wednesday, that’s no longer an option in the United States, UK or Canada.
Currently, the lowest-cost ad-free option from Netflix is a Standard plan at $15.49 per month. Subscribers can watch 720p content on two screens, and also download shows to watch later. A premium plan includes six screens (all in the same home), with a cost of $19.99 per month.
Or there’s the newest option: pay $6.99 per month and watch 720p video with adverts interspersed through the shows and movies.
These Netflix price changes have already taken effect.
And the Peacock price, too
NBCUniversal’s Peacock also instituted a price increase on both its plan options. Its ad-free Premium Plus plan is now $11.99 per month. That’s a $2 bump up. The Premium plan, which requires viewers to watch ads, went to $5.99 per month, a $1 increase.
Subscribers can save with year-long subscriptions, but the prices for these went up $20 for Premium Plus and $10 for Premium.
Those who are already subscribers will see the new prices on their bill starting August 17.
Ad-free Apple TV+ costs less
For comparison, a month of Apple TV+ without commercial interruption is $6.99. For easy comparison, that’s at least $8.50 less than Netflix, and half the cost of Peacock. And that’s after Apple increased the cost of its streaming service in late 2022.
Apple TV+ doesn’t have a lower-cost ad-supported plan. There have been hints that it’s considering one, though.
Disney+, another streaming rival, is $10.99 per month for an ad-free subscription, or $7.99 per month with adverts. But Disney CEO Bob Iger said in May that he wants to do a price increase.
Hulu charges $14.99 per month for its no-ads version, and $7.99 per month for its plan that requires adverts.
Streaming isn’t always profitable
While it’s easy to gripe about a price increase, or a streaming service cracking down on freeloaders, it’s not difficult to figure out why these companies are increasing their subscription fees — they are struggling to make their services profitable.
Netflix squeaked out a narrow win in its most recent financial quarter, but Disney+ lost $659 million in its most recent quarter.
The fiscal details of Apple TV+ are kept closely guarded secrets, so it’s known whether the service is making money or not.