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Apple TV+ content rates highest for quality


Apple TV+ best quality and other streaming service logos
A new survey supports the idea that Apple TV+ offers the best stuff (but not the most stuff).
Image: Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ may not pack in as many movies and TV shows as other major streaming platforms, but what it showcases rates highest for quality on IMDb, according to a new report.

Apple TV+ tops quality ratings in 19 genre categories on the movie-database site, including drama, comedy, action, biography and children’s content. But its relatively small catalogue helps keep it from ranking high on value for its price.

All the Disney+ 3D movies you can watch on Vision Pro


Disney+ 3D movies on Vision Pro
Disney+ has 42 movies in stunning 3D for you to experience on Vision Pro.
Photo: Disney

Now that Apple’s Vision Pro is out, Disney let everyone know Friday exactly which 3D films are available to watch on the headset. There are 42 different Disney+ 3D movies on Vision Pro at launch. The mix includes Star Wars and Marvel movies, as well as Disney’s celebrated animated fare.

And because of the immersive qualities of Vision Pro experiences like Environments, watching these 3D flicks could be pretty mind-blowing.

More than 600 new spatial apps and games await Vision Pro


Vision Pro apps
A new app lets you sit in a throne room a la "House of the Dragon" on HBO.
Photo: Apple

A day ahead of Vision Pro’s release, Apple put a spotlight on more than 600 new “spatial” apps and games made specifically for the headset. They join more than a million Vision Pro-compatible apps Friday in the App Store.

“Apple Vision Pro is unlocking the imaginations of our worldwide developer community, and we’re inspired by the range of spatial experiences they’ve created for this exciting new platform,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations.

Apple pitches Vision Pro as ‘ultimate entertainment device’


Apple Vision Pro Environments
Environments are dynamic vistas in your space that change as the day progresses.
Photo: Apple

New entertainment experiences launching with Apple Vision Pro on February 2 should be dazzling, as users can turn any space into a personal theater, enjoy more than 150 3D movies and experience “the future of entertainment” with Immersive Video, Apple said Tuesday.

“Apple Vision Pro is the ultimate entertainment device,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “Users can turn any place into the best seat in the house, enjoy personal concerts and adventures with Apple Immersive Video, interact with lifelike prehistoric creatures in Encounter Dinosaurs, and even land on the surface of the moon using Environments. It’s unlike anything users have ever seen before and we can’t wait for them to experience it for themselves.”

Netflix plans to join wave of streaming price increases


As part of a trend among streaming services, Netflix will jack up the price of ad-free streaming soon.
As part of a trend among streaming services, Netflix will jack up the price of ad-free streaming soon.
Photo: Netflix

With the writers and actors strikes now over if tentative agreements hold, Netflix plans to raise its ad-free streaming subscription price soon, joining other streaming platforms in doing so, a report said Tuesday.

Disney+ joins Netflix in cracking down on password sharing


Disney is taking multiple steps in hopes of making its streaming service profitable, including trying to end password sharing.
Photo: Disney

Disney CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday that the entertainment behemoth is exploring ways to prevent subscribers of its video streaming service from sharing passwords. Rival Netflix saw a surge in subscribers after it did its own crackdown.

The ad-free versions of Disney+ and Hulu are also getting a price increase this autumn.

Disney+ price jumps sharply


You'll be paying more to stream Disney, Marvel and Star Wars series.
Photo: The Walt Disney Company

Disney will soon hike the monthly subscription price of its streaming service almost 40%. When Disney+ first launched, it was one of the cheapest streaming streaming services. Not for much longer.

The company also increased the cost of Hulu and ESPN+.

Severance on Apple TV+ hits No. 1 most-streamed series


‘Severance’ on Apple TV+ hits #1 most streamed series
In Severance, you have to learn to expect the unexpected.
Photo: Apple TV+

Apple TV+ has a big hit on its hands with Severance. The weird workplace drama tops Reelgood’s list of the most-streamed series of the week.

The show debuted in February and the fifth episode premiered Friday. The first four were enough to push the series to the top of the chart.

Disney+ considers more affordable, ad-supported subscription for US


Disney+ considers ad-supported plan
Disney's rivals already offer more affordable plan options.
Image: Disney/Cult of Mac

Disney+ is said to be exploring a more affordable subscription plan that will be supported by advertisements for viewers in the United States.

Its current $7.99 per month (or $79.99 per year) price tag makes the service more affordable than Netflix but more expensive than Apple TV+, while rivals like Discovery+ and Paramount+ already offer ad-supported plans from $4.99.

Apple TV+ share of streaming market just keeps growing


Apple TV+ has a growing chunk of the U.S. streaming market. Netflix does not.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ garners 5% of the U.S. streaming video market, according to a company that follows the industry. While that makes Apple TV+ a small player, the service started 2021 with just a 3% share, so the year saw significant growth.

Its two largest rivals, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, saw drops in their shares of the streaming market in 2021.

Disney+ gets SharePlay support on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV


Disney+ gets SharePlay support
You must be running iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1 or tvOS 15.1 to use it.
Image: Disney

Disney+ just got a new update that adds SharePlay support on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. The feature allows up to 32 people to get together and watch the same TV shows and movies simultaneously over FaceTime.

SharePlay is available across content from all Disney brands, including Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars, and more. But you’ll need a device running iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, or tvOS 15.1 to take advantage of it.

Long and fraught: The path to success for Apple TV+


Apple TV+ Autumn 2021: Apple TV+ has some big shows coming this year.
Apple TV+ has some big shows coming this year.
Photo: Apple TV+

A year and a half in, Apple TV+ remains something of a black box. Ever since the streaming video service’s launch in November 2019, Cupertino has refused to reveal hard data about just how well Apple TV+ is doing.

In some respects, the future looks promising. Apple TV+ continues to add high-profile projects to its production queue. Apple TV+ shows and movies continue to rack up awards. And upcoming originals like an epic sci-fi adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and the second season of surprise hit Ted Lasso are generating buzz.

Plus, with the original one-year free trials ending — and new free Apple TV+ trials slashed to just three months — the $4.99-a-month streaming service seems increasingly confident about its value proposition for viewers.

Still, the Apple TV+ library continues to be dwarfed by rivals like Netflix and Disney+.

So what does the future hold? And what does “success” look like for Apple TV+ anyway? Cult of Mac asked the Entertainment Strategy Guy, a pseudonymous entertainment executive who writes about the business, how Apple TV+ is faring and what to expect next. His responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

Apple TV+ wins on quality, but severely lags on quantity


Apple TV app lands on PlayStation
Apple TV+ has some impressive quality control.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ may be only a bit-player in the streaming wars, but on a pound-for-pound quality basis, it could actually be outperforming its competitors.

That’s according to a new study by Self Financial, which compared TV and movie data from Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu and Apple TV+ to find out which offered the best quality viewing experience.

Disney+ raises prices $1 per month after announcing massive 87 million subscribers


Disney+ is an undisputed success.
Photo: The Walt Disney Company

Disney has announced that its Disney+ streaming service will increase in price by a single, solitary dollar per month. That takes the monthly cost of the streaming service to $7.99 per month — or $79.99 per year if you buy an annual subscription.

Meanwhile, the price of the Disney Bundle, which also ties in Hulu and ESPN Plus, will add the same $1 to its price tag, bringing it to $13.99 per month. These price changes will kick into effect come March 26, 2021.

These are Apple’s picks for the best apps of 2020


Best of 2020 app award
For the first time, Apple created a physical award to hand out to winners.
Photo: Apple

As 2020 thankfully sputters to its conclusion, Apple has released its list of the year’s best 15 apps and games “notable for their positive cultural impact, helpfulness, and importance.”

The App Store Best of 2020 winners cover a multitude of areas — from the Zoom app that more or less defined the year of lockdown to streaming service Disney+ to a nifty sleep app.

Apple hires a top dealmaker who worked for Quibi, Hulu, and Disney


Tim Connolly LinkedIn
Connolly recently updated his LinkedIn profile.
Photo: LinkedIn

Apple has hired a former executive who worked for shortform video service Quibi, in addition to Hulu and Disney, to work on growing its video-focused endeavors.

Spotted by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, Tim Connolly recently updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his job at Apple. It’s not evident exactly when he started working in the new role.

Live-action Mulan will be available to buy through Apple’s TV app


Mulan poster
Mulan is Disney's latest live action remake.
Photo: Disney

Upcoming live-action Disney movie Mulan will be available to purchase through Apple’s TV app, Variety reports.

A remake of the 1998 animated movie, the 2020 Mulan will cost $29.99 to purchase on third-party platforms — Apple’s included — starting September 4. If that’s the only Disney content you’re interested in seeing right now, that’s actually cheaper than watching it via Disney+.

These were the top video steaming apps on iOS in June


75% of Netflix users have no plans to jump ship to Apple TV+ (right away)
Netflix is continuing its momentum in the age of Disney+ and others.
Photo: Stock Catalog/Flickr CC

There might be more streaming services than ever, but Netflix seems like it’s continuing to maintain momentum in the age of Disney+, HBO+, and others.

According to a new report by Sensor Tower, Netflix was the second-most downloaded iOS app in the App Store. The number one streaming video app? YouTube, of course.

Apple TV+ still struggles to find an audience


Apple TV+ has yet to cut into the lead of well-established streaming video services.
Apple TV+ emphasizes that it offers only original programming. But so far that’s not working.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ has just a tiny fraction of the U.S. streaming video market, according to a market-research firm. Even nine months after its launch, it’s well behind well-established rivals like Netflix and even the other newcomer, Disney+.

Banish lockdown boredom with big savings on Fire TV devices


Fire TV Edition Smart TVs
Now with Apple TV support!
Photo: Amazon

Amazon is helping us all say entertained during COVID-19 lockdowns with generous savings on its own Fire TV devices. You can pick up a Fire TV Stick for as little as $29.99, and Fire Edition TV sets from just $139.99.

All Fire TV devices now support Apple TV+ — as well as a host of other streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+. These are limited-time savings, so enjoy them before they disappear.

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Apple TV+ is still a long way from winning viewers’ hearts


Apple TV+ is free to everyone who buys a new iPhone, Mac or iPad.
Although people generally like Apple TV+, they like rival streaming services more.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ won an accolade no one wants: it’s the streaming video service viewers are most likely to cancel once it stops being free.

Still, satisfaction with Apple’s offering is fairly high, according to survey results revealed on Friday. But people like almost all its competitors more.

TikTok, Zoom and Disney+ dominate the App Store during first quarter 2020


Which apps have been ruling the App Store during lockdown?
Photo: Apple

TikTok, Zoom and Disney+ have the slightly dubious-sounding honor of being named the three most popular iOS apps in the United States during the age of coronavirus, a new report from app analytics platform Sensor Tower suggests.

The report, which covers the first three months of 2020, sheds light on the way our app habits are changing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In short? We’re downloading a whole lot more apps than usual. That makes the App Store one of the few businesses that’s actually thriving during an incredibly difficult time.

NBCUniversal streamer Peacock comes early to Comcast customers


Peacock is ready to take on Netflix and Apple TV+.
Photo: NBCUniversal

Comcast is jumping into the streaming wars this week with an early preview of Peacock that gives customers access to over 15,000 hours of movies and TV shows from NBCUniversal. Peacock isn’t set to launch to the public until July, but if you’re an Xfinity X1 or Flex customer, you can get a taste of service starting on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

EU and India launches push Disney+ past 50 million subscribers


Who wouldn't want Disney+ at this price?
Photo: Disney

Disney+ is catching up quickly to Netflix’s total number of paid subscribers thanks to the services’ recent launch in Europe and India.

The Walt Disney Company revealed today that it has almost hit its paid subscriber goal nearly four years early as it just passed the 50 million subscriber mark this week. The news comes just five months after Disney+ launched in the US.