Gulp. An Apple TV Plus price hike may have felt inevitable, but we're not exactly happy to see it anyway. Yes, Apple TV Plus' low $4.99 introductory pricing just went up by $2 per month, to $6.99 (£6.99/$8.99 CAD/AUD$9.99). And Apple Music's going to cost more, too.
The new pricing (full details below) can be seen across Apple's own site. Apple Music goes up by a dollar a month, from $9.99 to $10.99 (£10.99/$10.99 CAD/AUD$12.99) per month, and the bundles that contain both Apple TV Plus and Apple Music are also going up as well. Expect notification of this increase 30 days before Apple starts billing you more.
Apple TV Plus kept its $4.99 per month price since its Nov. 1, 2019 launch, and doesn't exactly have a reasoning behind the increase. An Apple spokesperson gave a statement to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) that basically says there are new prices because Apple TV Plus has more content, saying "We introduced Apple TV+ at a very low price because we started with just a few shows and movies. Three years later, Apple TV+ is home to an extensive selection of award-winning and broadly acclaimed series, feature films, documentaries, and kids and family entertainment from the world’s most creative storytellers."
As for Apple Music? That same rep said this is due to an "increase in licensing costs, and in turn, artists and songwriters will earn more for the streaming of their music. We also continue to add innovative features that make Apple Music the world’s best listening experience."
Apple One bundles are also going up in price. Here's a breakdown of the US pricing changes:
Apple TV Plus, Apple Music and Apple One price hikes:
|Service||New price||Old price|
|Apple TV Plus (monthly)||$6.99||$4.99|
|Apple TV (annual)||$69.99||$49.99|
|Apple Music (monthly)||$10.99||$9.99|
|Apple Music annual||$109.99||$99.99|
|Apple Music Family (monthly)||$16.99||$14.99|
|Apple One Individual||$16.95||$14.95|
|Apple One Family||$22.95||$19.95|
|Apple One Premier||$32.95||$29.95|
While price hikes are normalized in streaming services for TV and movies, this is a rarity for music streaming subscriptions. Spotify Premium, which is also ad-free, is still $9.99 per month, and could lure in subscribers with its lower price.
The jump of $2 per month for Apple TV Plus is rather normal among the best streaming services. Netflix raised prices for between $1 to $2 per month, depending on the package you subscribe to (the 1080p Standard package went up by $1.50 USD to $15.49 per month). Ad-free Disney Plus will cost $3 more starting in December and ad-supported Hulu just went up by $1.
Analysis: Is Apple TV Plus still worth it?
Back in July, we gave Apple TV Plus a Best Value award in the Tom's Guide Awards 2022. Its increasing library of excellent content did merit such applause then, but this $2 more per month, or $20 more per year, complicates things.
Apple TV Plus didn't add anything big and new to coincide with this price hike, so those who don't take advantage of all of the best Apple TV Plus shows and movies already may not be inclined to stay on now.
That said, Apple TV does keep adding quality programming, including recent addition Bad Sisters. It doesn't have a back catalog of licensed content, though, or live events (but it did give away MLB games for free this season, and has an upcoming MLS partnership), so other $4.99 per month services such as Peacock and Paramount Plus do offer much greater variety.
But, if you ask me, Apple TV Plus is beating those services on original programming. While we don't think Apple will ever publish subscriber numbers — and so we might not see the ripple effect of this decision — we're curious to find out how many people think Apple TV Plus offers enough for $6.99. Or if they just want to find out how to cancel Apple TV Plus.