This week Apple confirmed it's increasing the monthly subscription price of its streaming service, Apple TV Plus. I suppose the $4.99 introduction price couldn’t stick around forever, but the increase to $6.99 a month has me on the verge of pressing the cancel button.
In the grand scheme of things a $2 price increase may not seem like a particularly significant price hike, and in isolation it's not really, but it takes Apple TV Plus out of its previous bracket of being just cheap enough that I wasn’t particularly concerned with how often I used the service each month.
At a fee of $6.99 it’s a different proposition, and I'm thinking it's time to take a break. Plus, with the cost of living set to rise further it's a good time to slim down the number of streaming services I subscribe to — and unfortunately Apple TV Plus is first on the chopping block.
Apple TV Plus was never the star service
Like many people, I’m subscribed to multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and more. Between full-time employment, and trying to maintain a (small) social life, I don’t use every single streaming service I’m subscribed to every single day, or even every single week.
I predominantly use Netflix and Disney Plus on the most frequent basis (plus, Spotify, if we’re counting music streaming as well). However, the likes of Prime Video and Apple TV Plus have always been supplementary services that I only occasionally use when something new is added that really grabs my attention or is heavily recommended by a trusted colleague.
When Apple TV Plus cost just $4.99 I was generally okay with an entire month passing where I didn’t use the service at all. And that wasn’t an uncommon occurrence either. I rate the streaming service highly, but there’s no denying its focus is on quality over quantity. Especially when compared to the likes of Netflix, Apple TV Plus only adds a very small smattering of content each month.
The problem is at $6.99, that’s more money than I’m comfortable spending on a service that I’m not using every single month. Like many people, the ongoing cost of living crisis is forcing me to reassess my household budget, and a streaming service that isn’t grabbing my attention at a regular clip is the first luxury on the list to be cut.
Prime Video would be in a similarly dangerous position, but the streaming service is just one of many Prime member benefits offered and I use the free shipping often — especially recently now that early Black Friday deals have started appearing.
But I’ll return to Apple TV Plus at some point
My decision to cancel Apple TV Plus comes with a pretty substantial asterisk: I’m only canceling for now. I still rate the streaming service very highly and consider it one of the best streaming services currently available, I’ve just gone through all the TV shows and movies in the current library that appeal to me right now.
I’ve greatly enjoyed the likes of Ted Lasso, Trying, Blackbird and Severance in recent months, and I'm greatly looking forward to them returning (minus Blackbird which was a limited series). When Ted Lasso season 3 finally premiers, you better believe I’ll be returning to Apple TV Plus. The same will be true when Severance season 2 rolls around or when Trying season 4 debuts. These are shows I definitely don’t want to miss.
Really my cancelation of Apple TV Plus is just a temporary reshuffle of my streaming portfolio, and that’s something that I should actually do more often. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to stay subscribed to a service in perpetuity. If you’re not using a particularly streaming service right now, take a break and then return when a backlog of content has built up for you to work through. This practice even has its own name, it’s called churn.
So, while I’m saying goodbye to Apple TV Plus right now, in the future I’ll almost certainly be back. That is assuming everybody’s favorite soccer coach does actually return at some point in the future. At this point, after multiple delays, I’m starting to wonder what the heck is happening with the Ted Lasso season 3 release date.
Next: Before you cancel, check out Mythic Quest, the best Apple TV Plus show you’re not watching.
One benefit you didn't mention is that users who have bought audio/video media through iTunes can listen/watch it through the Apple TV app on Roku streaming boxes and, I assume but haven't tested, other streaming boxes. I honestly don't know if the app would work for that without the subscription as I didn't test that prior to subscribing to Apple TV Plus. It is something to consider. I hope this helps others.