The Rising Cost of Streaming: Apple TV+ Announces Price Hike
Apple is once again increasing the price of its TV+ streaming platform, marking the second increase in the past year. A monthly subscription will now cost $9.99, up from $6.99, an overall annual increase of $36. According to Apple, this price change is effective immediately for new customers and will take effect 30 days later for existing subscribers on their next renewal date.
“It’s about value — and no streaming service has yet to solve the value equation.” – Mike Proulx, Research Director at Forrester.
The increase comes on the heels of a price hike just a year ago, in October 2022, when Apple raised the subscription rate from $4.99 to $6.99. Despite these changes, the service remains ad-free, underscoring the company's commitment to a seamless viewing experience.
Price Increase Across Other Apple Services
Apple TV+ is not the only service of the tech giant witnessing a price increase. Its gaming platform, Apple Arcade, has also experienced a bump from $4.99 to $6.99 per month. An Apple News subscription has also jumped by $3 to $12.99. The Apple One subscription, incorporating all of Apple's subscription services into one plan, has also seen an increase, going up to $19.95 from $16.95 monthly for individuals and $25.95 per month for a family plan.
Despite these changes, there are no planned price adjustments for Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, or iCloud+. According to a statement by the company, these changes reflect its continued emphasis on providing more high-quality content and features.
Streaming Industry Trends
The price increase by Apple TV+ follows a similar move by Netflix, which recently raised the price of its one-stream basic plan to $11.99 in the US. Industry experts suggest that such price increases are not uncommon in the streaming industry, with inflation often cited as a primary trigger.
Eric Abbruzzese, a director at ABI Research, noted that the $10 monthly cost is less than the average for similar ad-free services offering 4K video, especially compared to larger competitors like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.
Moreover, he highlighted that Apple's service seems to favor quality over quantity, pointing to the multi-award-winning exclusive programming on its platform. Recent estimates project that its subscriber growth is outpacing most of its competition.
The Road Ahead for Streaming Services
As the price of streaming services continues to rise, the challenge for these platforms is to retain and grow their user base. This battle is not just about attracting users through quality content but also about providing value for money. Market research firm Forrester's Mike Proulx encapsulated this dilemma succinctly: “Consumers expect great content at a fair price. It’s about value — and no streaming service has yet to solve the value equation.”
As the streaming wars continue to intensify, how consumers will react to these price changes remains to be seen, and what strategies streaming platforms will employ to maintain their growth trajectories.