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Apple TV Plus: Everything you need to know about the streaming service

Apple TV logo on an Apple TV 4K
(Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

Apple made sure that it was not going to be left out of the burgeoning streaming market when it launched its own streaming platform, Apple TV Plus. With it, the tech company best known for creating the iPhone and computers entered the TV and movie development and distribution game.

While Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video have long been offering content that subscribers can stream, the streaming revolution has really taken off in the last handful of years with the emergence of streaming platforms like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Peacock and Apple TV Plus.

Unlike most of its competitors, Apple TV Plus does not have a library of classic TV shows and movies included as part of its streaming subscription, rather focusing entirely on original TV shows and movies, with Apple saying that new content — ranging from dramas to kid series to documentaries and more — becomes available on the service every month.

Below we break down everything that you need to know about Apple TV Plus, from what’s on it to how much it costs and how you can start watching.

How much does Apple TV Plus cost?

Apple TV Plus is actually priced as one of the most affordable streaming services on the market. A monthly subscription to just Apple TV Plus will cost consumers $4.99 per month. That is the price of what the ad-supported versions of Peacock and Paramount Plus run, but Apple TV Plus does not feature any commercials. 

There is also an option to bundle Apple TV Plus as part of Apple One, which enables consumers to bundle up to five other Apple services (between Apple Music, Apple Arcade, iCloud Plus, Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus) in a single monthly subscription that starts at $14.95 per month.

Consumers can cancel their Apple TV Plus subscription at any time.

Is there an Apple TV Plus free trial?

Not sure if you want to commit right away to a monthly subscription fee for Apple TV Plus? Apple offers new subscribers a seven-day free trial for Apple TV Plus, which upon the conclusion of a monthly subscription would kick in.

You can get a longer free trial of the service if you purchase a new Apple device, as buying something like an iPhone, iPad, Mac computer or more will give those consumers three months of free access to Apple TV Plus. A subscription will automatically start at the conclusion of three months unless you cancel it prior to it ending.

Lastly, Apple TV Plus comes free with an Apple Music Student Plan.

What is on Apple TV Plus?

Arguably the most important part of any streaming service is the content subscribers get for their money. As mentioned above, Apple did not have a library of classic titles that it could rely on to help build out its streaming service, but what it has done is spend big money on developing original content and acquiring titles that can serve as Apple TV Plus exclusives.

When the service launched in November 2019 there wasn’t as much as other streaming platforms had to start with, but Apple TV Plus has grown since then, with a number of its shows and movies becoming big hits.

Here are the currently available Apple TV Plus originals:

See what Apple TV Plus originals you need to check out: Best Apple TV Plus show

And here are some of the shows that are awaiting release:

Apple TV Plus has also a number of Apple TV Plus original films, including:

Upcoming Apple TV Plus original movies include:

It should also be noted that Apple TV Plus is the streaming home for Peanuts cartoons. In addition to Snoopy in Space and The Snoopy Show, this includes streaming the classic Peanuts holiday specials. After a bit of a controversy with viewers complaining that the classic Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes would be removed from broadcast in favor or Apple TV Plus, the streaming service announced that in addition to offering the holiday specials to its subscribers, all of the holiday classics would air once on PBS around their respective holidays as well as be available for free to all interested viewers for a limited time on Apple TV. 

How can I watch Apple TV Plus?

Once you have an Apple TV Plus subscription, how can you watch it? Apple TV Plus is available through the Apple TV app, which is available on all Apple devices. Subscribers can open the Apple TV app, click or tap Apple TV Plus and start watching the available TV shows and movies.

Apple TV Plus is also available on a number of streaming platforms, smart TVs and AirPlay-enabled TVs with the Apple TV app.

UPDATE (10/29): Per TV Tech, Comcast has also announced that it will be adding Apple TV Plus, as well as the Apple TV app, for its Xfinity and Sky customers to access on the company's devices.

Here is the specific breakdown of what devices support Apple TV Plus:

Subscribers can also download Apple TV Plus content to an Apple device to watch them anywhere with or without a Wi-Fi connection.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.