At $6.99/month, the new Disney+ streaming service costs almost half the price of the Netflix plan I’m currently subscribed to. Even so, Disney’s streamer is still undercut by at least one other new addition to the Streaming Wars — the Apple TV+ service that Apple will launch on November 1 for only $4.99/month.
Disney CEO Bob Iger addressed that very issue during an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. His response: Disney’s not bothered by all the competition, including Apple’s undercutting of Disney’s already low price.
Why isn’t Iger worried? (Even if he was, it’s not like he’d admit it, right?) He thinks, overall, Disney+ offers the better deal. For just a couple dollars more, you get — well, we’ll let him tell you: “We’re not really worried about competition in terms of pricing because we have such a unique product. We’re very, very different than any other service that is out there. So while we view the others as competition, we’re not fixated on the competitive side of things here.”
For one thing, Apple may be cheaper, but what’s cheaper than free? Earlier this week, Disney unveiled an offer in which Verizon will give every unlimited customer an entire year of Disney+ for free. And that’s actually one of a handful of Disney+ discounts we’ve reported on — deals that have helped the service fill up its subscriber pipeline with a horde of users as Day One approaches. While Apple, meanwhile, appears to be waiting for its launch day (November 1) to start signing up subscribers.
As to Iger’s point about Disney’s offering being a better deal — of course, it depends on how you define value. But to many people, offering a slate of content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic for $6.99/month will represent a much better deal than a handful of all Apple-commissioned shows in the name of offering a highly curated service for only $4.99/month (though some people will no doubt prefer the latter, too).
I fully intend to try out both, because it’s not an either/or for me. There’s content that intrigues me on both services. In terms of the approach to pricing, Apple seems to have wanted to undercut Disney, though Disney is arguably the more aggressive given the fact that it’s not waiting for launch day to sign up subscribers, and it’s rolled out a ton of discounts as a way to prime the pump. All of this, meanwhile, belies the fact that the pricing for both services will most assuredly rise, over time.