Originally published at: Prices Increase for Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple One - TidBITS
Apple has raised prices for three of its services and the Apple One bundles while leaving iCloud+, Apple Music, and Apple Fitness+ pricing alone.
Originally published at: Prices Increase for Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple One - TidBITS
Second year on year 10% rise in the UK.
No chance of cancelling though, we use all the features.
The increases have Apple One Premier jumping to $50AUD a month. My primary use is the additional storage. We rarely watch Apple TV (used it for Ted Lasso), we’ve never used the Arcade or Ftiness+, the kids refuse to use Apple Music (prefer Spotify) and I don’t use Apple News as much as I have previously.
Happy to cancel Premier, get iCloud+ and save $35 a month.
Well it’s a good thing I don’t use any of them then, isn’t it?
Only Apple News entices me at all, and then barely; the truth is that my RSS reader of choice, lire, is getting me all the “news” I could possibly want, albeit that I wish I had less need to bypass paywalls, which in principle Apple News would make possible. But eh, not worth it for the price rise.
Opting out is certainly not as easy as opting in - there appears to be a bug which means you’re never quite sure if your cancellation has been accepted (pressing the “done” button does nothing and leaves a dimmed modal window open). I guess I’ll find out when the next payment is due.
At $4.99/month, Apple TV+ was a great deal. When it jumped to $6.99/month it was an okay deal. Now at $9.99/month I might have to cancel. Back to reading books.
It’s fine to disagree with Apple’s actions and to say what your reaction to them will be. It is not OK to be insulting to or make personal attacks on anyone—including Tim Cook and other Apple executives.
As Discourse’s message prompt says: “Be specific, be constructive, and always be kind.”
It’s unsurprising that Apple increased the Apple TV+ price given the industry trend and the cost of creating an ever-increasing amount of new content for the service.
I wonder about this. Why is producing shows/movies supposedly getting so much more expensive? How can you top the cost of something like Game of Thrones? A rather broad consensus seems to be quality has gone down considerably and that the “Golden Age of TV” has ended already several years ago. So what are they doing over there? Using Benjamins to light up cigars?
The Writer’s Guild strike and subsequent settlement would seem to be one likely explanation for why prices are going up, along with something similar likely happening eventually in response to the SAG-AFTRA strike. And of course, general inflation will drive all costs up.
But I wonder if the issue isn’t more quantity. Perhaps someone like @mcohen who’s in LA and more attuned to Hollywood would know for sure, but my impression is that the industry is creating a lot more content than ever before. Any one show might not cost that much in the overall scheme of things, but if you have 20 shows in production, that’s a different story.
And of course, unlike in an advertising or direct sales model, Apple earns no more money if it produces 20 shows instead of 1—the hope is that the extra quantity is what attracts more subscribers.
Gruber points out that media subscriptions are always walking a fine line because they have to be inexpensive enough to not push people toward pirating.
I think we’re rapidly approaching a shakeout, where lots of networks are going to either get acquired or go out of business.
When there were only a relatively small number of major streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, maybe 3-4 more major players), most people subscribed to one or more of them. Since they all had a large audience, they took in (more or less) enough money do run the service and pay to produce original programming.
But now, there are dozens of big players in the market. People are not interested in subscribing to them all, and they don’t. So everybody has a much smaller market share than before. Which means fewer customers are paying to run the same service and produce the same content. Which means they need to make up the revenue loss - either by charging more, by including advertisement, or both.
And, of course, many people who thought a service might be affordable at $5/mo may decide it isn’t at $10 or 15 (or more) per month, and they’ll cancel their subscriptions, further aggravating the problem.
This is going to implode sooner or later, and I think pretty soon. The less popular platforms are going to go out of business and the more popular platforms are going to merge. And when the number of big players in the market shrinks, then (everybody hopes) market share will go up and it will be possible to keep producing original content without overcharging customers.
Apple introduced Apple TV+ in November 2019 at $4.99/month.
It increased the price in October 2022 to $6.99/month.
It will increase the price in November 2023 to $9.99/month.
Based only on inflation the November 2019 price of $4.99/month should now be $5.97/month.
And based on inflation the October 2022 price of $6.99 should now be $7.22.
It is interesting that AppleTV+ has so far not mentioned the word “advertising”, despite most of the industry moving to or planning to go in that direction. I am not holding my breath but they may simply do another “Apple tax” style pricing and keep their channel ad-free (for now).
There are a lot of factors going on with the industry as a whole. Not all of them we even know about.
(Below is more of a general entertainment industry musing, following on what some are discussing here:)
Streaming media groups were already throwing money at productions with abandon in an effort to win subscribers. Disney has been very up front about the volume of productions with their IPs needing to slow down and spread out over more time (ie. Marvel, Star Wars, etc.) Covid introduced many delays and then extra costs once productions restarted (and moving forward with whatever virus or health conditions are rising.) The DGA, WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are overdue in terms of their causality and core issues, but the result will increase costs (even if unwarranted in some areas). Even the GoT-inspired Intimacy Coordinators, while long overdue, add more names to the roster of paid staff.
As others have mentioned, there are far too many “channels” in streaming and subscribers have to make choices that may preclude keeping a service year-round. The streaming services used to focus on metrics like total and new subscribers but it will become increasingly difficult to sate investors with just those numbers as we move forward.
In terms of a shakedown or consolidation in these media channels, I would rather see partnerships instead of outright mergers or acquisitions. HBO and WarnerBros was an interesting pairing… until it wasnt. This new Discovery takeover is a monster, but it was preceeded by the TimeWarnerAOL and AT&T disasters.
This is most likely going to be a period of financial reckoning and changes in a landscape that used to be Broadcast dominated, then infiltrated by cable and eventually began to shift to online/streaming (with a side dish of physical media thrown in for many decades). The old standard was mostly dependent on advertising. It seems that cycle is coming around again after a brief experimental period of streaming being the new kid on the block.
Entertainment has often been laiden with risk factors, but everything else aside, I fear for the impact on creative output as the owners try even harder to “split the penny” at any cost with newfound precision .
I think it has to go there eventually. Look at broadcast and cable TV.
Sure, there were always pay-to-view channels (even broadcast over the air), but they were never the majority. Pay TV only works when you have high quality programming that people are willing to pay for, and most content (from anybody) is simply not that great.
Which is why nearly all broadcast and cable stations are funded by advertising. And quite a lot of it. I think current laws in the US specify a maximum of 15 minutes of ads per hour of airtime (25% advertising), and nearly all non-premium channels run right up against this limit as much as possible unless it’s a special program with a sponsor that will pay them the difference.
I think streaming is going to have to go that way. There will always be some premium channels out there, and I suspect that all streaming services will offer (for some high price) an ad-free experience to those who want it, but I think most channels are going to eventually offer a free-with-ads tier (and probably at the level of advertising typically seen on broadcast TV), simply because that will bring in the most customers and is going to be the only way to maintain a reasonable operating budget.
I know that in my family, we definitely appreciate the ad-free experience from Max, Disney and other channels. But we’re currently at our limit for the number we’re willing to pay for (four channels, right now). But there are a lot of free-with-ads channels out there, and we have installed apps for most of them on our Apple TV, and we occasionally watch them.
Will any specific channel (like Apple TV+) go this way in any particular time frame (if at all)? Nobody can predict that. But I think industry-wide, we’re going to see the streaming world start to resemble the broadcast world pretty closely, simply because it’s a model that has shown itself to be profitable.
The swing back to ad-supported is what I dread. That alone will not stabilize the industry, but it is their easy-button solution for the moment. Now… how the streamers will report their viewing numbers and share in the monetization remains to be seen. Most have been very guarded of their actual data thus far.
Anyone remember the original DivX rental disc format? That was a total disaster, and yet that basic model is very similar to what many people now do with “renting” titles digitally on services like Apple, Amazon, etc.
Just with out the proprietary hardware purchase and landfill and absurd policies.
I’m not a huge watcher of television or movies and the quantity of what’s available on the various services doesn’t really appeal to me. We first signed up for AppleTV for Ted Lasso and the family loved it. We’ve tried a few of the big name show since but they were all just ‘meh’.
Maybe my interest in modern TV shows and movies is slipping as I age. I can’t believe people go to a cinema, pay $25 to watch 30 minutes of ads, then sit for three and a half hours watching a movie eating $15 popcorn and $10 drinks - it’s not entertainment, it’s torture
Apple is getting to be very, very aggressive in the sports broadcast business with its major acquisitions of Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. And rumor has it that Apple is negotiating with other leagues, including in South America and Europe. Sports programming tends to be hugely popular across the globe, and advertising is a highly profitable revenue stream for teams. A huge % of sports fans tend to not mind watching or listening to commercials at all rather than paying to watch players chewing gum, walking around between innings, etc.
“Apple is selling MLS ad spots for US$4m in overhauled sponsorship strategy. Tech giant wants buyers to commit to a season-long series of spots that will run during games.
- ‘Gold’ tier to cost around US$4m, with ‘Silver’ and ‘Bronze’ packages priced at US$3m and US$1.5m
- Apple not initially accepting ads from sports betting firms
Though it is a very different ad business than that of broadcast sports, for decades Apple has also raking in revenue from ads from the % they take in from Game Store developers’ ad revenue.
I canceled Apple TV+ about a year ago. Nothing much interesting. Severance was good. And For All Mankind. But there’s not enough there to warrant paying a high monthly subscription. I have my 2TB iCloud separately.
Downgrading back to just Apple Music and my 200GB iCloud+ subscriptions.
Apple sometimes makes it more difficult than necessary for people who want to buy their products and services. This is a fragrant example. (No, not flagrant; I don’t like the way this deal smells.)
A clever actuary could figure out the break-even subscription price per service based on production costs and number of customers, set all of them at the same monthly rate, and offer tiered pricing by the number of services and users per account. That would be brilliant.
Instead, we have a model that requires people to buy services a la carte at premium prices or bundle things they don’t want and won’t use in order to get access to others they do and will.
When a few series that you like show up and you have time to binge, come back for a month or so to catch up. For All Mankind Season 4 is scheduled to run from November 10, 2023 to January 12, 2024. Slow Horses (my favorite took off for a year, but season 3 is supposed to start on December 1 and run through December 29).