Apple TV+: Everything You Need To Know In 2023 (Price, Content, Streaming Options)

Apple’s video streaming service isn’t quite a Netflix competitor – not yet, anyway. But its content is second to none. Here’s everything you need to know about Apple TV+.

Apple’s streaming video subscription service is called Apple TV+. Apple first launched the service in November 2019 and since then its shows have become some of the most critically acclaimed streaming series in recent years.

However, Apple’s video streaming service isn’t quite what many people assume it might be. By that I mean, it’s not exactly a Netflix or Hulu competitor. Matter of fact, its content strategy is pretty different from either of those services. Confused? Let’s take a deeper dive to clarify things.

Apple TV+: What Is Apple’s Video Streaming Service?

The unique thing about Apple TV+ compared to other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu is that subscribers to the service are only able to access Apple’s original content, plus some extra movies and other content each month. You see, while other streaming services offer a backlog of third-party content from various media companies, Apple limits Apple TV+ pretty much to its own produced content.

Apple does not really license third-party content for the Apple TV+ service. Well…mostly.

You see, in recent years Apple has begun licensing some third-party pre-existing content. For example, if there’s a new Apple TV+ series or movie starring a particular actor, Apple TV+ might offer the ability to stream some of their prior movies from other studios for a limited time – usually about a month. But for the most part, the main difference between Apple TV+ and other streaming platforms is Apple TV+ does not offer a large library of legacy third-party content.

Perhaps Apple feels that it doesn’t need to compete in the third-party back-catalog streaming business since every other streaming service offers the same generic content. It appears Apple wants its service to focus on its original content.

Apple TV+: What Original Content Does It Have?

As of 2023, Apple TV+ has a ton of original content. Apple TV+ has had massive hits like Ted Lasso, For All Mankind, Servant, Severence, Silo, and more. And most of its shows that haven’t been mega commercial hits have been praised by critics for the quality of the content.

Apple also works with some of the biggest names in Hollywood to produce or star in its original Apple TV+ content. These big names include Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Reynolds, Glenn Close, Tom Hanks, Sofia Coppola, The Russo Brothers, Michael J Fox, Seth Rogan, Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, John Stewart, and many, many more.

Apple TV+ also includes games from Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, for additional fees.

Credit: Apple

Apple TV+: What’s This I Hear About The Content Including Channels Like HBO?

In 2019 at the Apple TV+ launch event, Apple announced that in addition to launching its own original content Apple TV users will be able to subscribe to premium television channels from inside the Apple TV app. These channels include HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and more.

Subscriptions to these channels cost anywhere from $8 on up per month. However, these channels aren’t actually part of the Apple TV+ service. Rather they are additional streaming services you can add on to your Apple TV+ bill.

Apple TV+: Yes, The Name Is A Bit Confusing

As great as the original content is on Apple TV+, many people get confused by the “Apple TV” branding. This is because Apple has numerous products in its ecosystem that use the “Apple TV” name in some way. So to clear things up, here is what those “Apple TV” products refer to:

  • Apple TV+: this is the streaming service owned by Apple, which this article talks about.
  • Apple TV: this is the hardware box Apple sells. The product is called Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. They are streaming set-top boxes. Yes, they can be used to watch Apple TV+, but they can also be used for all your other streaming service apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more. You do not need Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K hardware to watch Apple TV+. Apple TV+ is offered as an app on everything from gaming consoles to smart TVs.
  • TV app: and to make things even more confusing, Apple calls its digital video content app for iPhoen, iPad, Mac, and Windows the “TV” app. Yes, you can use the TV app to watch Apple TV+, but it also houses the videos you’ve purchased through the iTunes store.

Apple TV+: How Much Does It Cost?

Apple TV+ is much cheaper than other streaming services. But again, it has less content than other streaming services, too. Apple TV+ costs $6.99 per month in 2023. It’s also included in various Apple One bundles.

Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.