As thecontinues to keep people at home watching more TV than ever, a growing list of vie for American eyeballs. has at a tremendous pace, has been , and new services like AT&T’s and are now available. On July 15, becomes the final major entrant in the current round of the streaming wars, expanding nationally from its this spring. As the list of options continues to grow from the “old days” of just , and , it threatens to become overwhelming.
With the launch of Peacock, now is a good time to stop, take a deep breath, and look at the crowded landscape. Here’s a breakdown of where each new service stands right now and how it all compares to Netflix.
The basics: Pricing, titles and more
Pricing for Disney ($7) and Apple TV Plus ($5) is relatively straightforward: A single plan for each service that, mobile downloads and the ability for more than one viewer to stream at once.
HBO Max has a single price too: $15 per month for mobile downloads and multiple streams. It does not, however, currently offer 4K HDR streaming though it has saidA cheaper version of HBO Max with ads is in the works as well, but details on when exactly it will be available and how much it will cost remain unknown.
The others have multiple pricing plans with different features. Netflix starts at $8.99 a month for a single, non-HD stream that can download to one phone or tablet. Next is its most popular, $12.99-a-month plan for two streams in HD and the ability to download to two devices. Lastly, it charges $15.99 for four streams in 4K HDR and downloads on up to four devices.
The other two new services have ads and charge extra for ad-free options., the brainchild of Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and led by former HP CEO Meg Whitman, is a new take on streaming with a mobile-only approach. It has only original shows, and each episode runs 10 minutes or less. It’s available in the US and Canada, on iOS and Android, for $4.99 a month with ads and $7.99 a month ad-free.
Peacock is owned by NBCUniversal, itself a subsidiary of cable TV giant Comcast. There are three versions of Peacock: a free, ad-supported version with access to 7,500 hours of content, a $4.99-per-month premium version that doubles the amount of content available and includes access to Peacock Original shows and movies, and a $9.99-per-month Premium option that is ad-free.
Comcast customers with a Flex TV streaming box or Xfinity X1 cable box can get the $5 Premium version of Peacock that has ads for free or can pay $4.99 a month to upgrade to the ad-free Premium version (normally $9.99 per month). Like the other services, Peacock is available to stream on a host of phones, tablets, game consoles and smart TVs. But we’ll get into that more in a minute.
Each of the competing streaming services has its own group of noteworthy titles. Apple TV Plus, for example, is the only place you can watch Jennifer Aniston’s The Morning Show, while Disney Plus is where you’ll be able to stream the Star Wars series The Mandalorian. HBO Max, meanwhile, will have Friends after the popular show left Netflix at the start of the year, while Netflix will , when it will head to Peacock.
Those nostalgic for NBC’s most popular 2000s shows, including 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and Parks and Recreation, will like Peacock, which also has classics such as Cheers and Everybody Loves Raymond. The new service will also be home to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Two and a Half Men and Dick Wolf’s Chicago and Law and Order franchises.
Like Apple TV Plus, Quibi lacks the traditional catalogs of hits that can be found on its rivals. Instead, it’s launching with a host of original shows featuring stars such as Anna Kendrick, Chrissy Teigen, Chance the Rapper and Liam Hemsworth. With its mobile-focused approach, Quibi offers two ways to watch — holding your phone vertically or horizontally changes the perspective of the episode.
|Netflix||Peacock||Quibi||HBO Max||Disney Plus||Apple TV Plus|
|Monthly price||Starts at $8.99||Limited content for free, Premium with ads for $4.99 per month, ad-free Premium for $9.99||Basic $4.99 with ads, ad-free for $7.99||$14.99||$6.99||$4.99|
|Availability||Now||Now for Comcast, July 15 nationwide||Now||Now||Now||Now|
|Top titles||Stranger Things, The Office, Breaking Bad, 13 Reasons Why||The Office (in 2021), 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Tokyo Olympics, early access to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon||Chrissy’s Court, Survive, Most Dangerous Game, Punk’d||Game of Thrones, Friends, Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty||The Mandalorian, Avengers Endgame, Toy Story, The Simpsons||The Morning Show, See, Dickinson, For All Mankind|
|Mobile downloads||Yes||Not at launch||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|4K HDR available||Yes (on Premium plan)||Not at launch||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Number of streams||1 (2 for Standard, 4 on Premium)||3||1||3||4||6|
and Quibi have the most limited selection, but they’re also the cheapest without ads. Families will likely gravitate toward Disney Plus, with its extensive catalog of family-friendly content, including Disney’s live-action and animated films and TV shows, plus offerings from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and National Geographic.
By comparison, while HBO has Sesame Street, Apple has Snoopy and Netflix has its own Kids section, none of these offers the singular, family-friendly focus of Disney Plus. Peacock has a new Curious George series, plus family films such as Dreamworks’ Despicable Me series and Shrek.
If you’re looking beyond the wide Disney domain, you’ll find large varieties of content across genres at HBO, Peacock and Netflix. But when looking at ad-free pricing, those services are more expensive than Disney’s streaming option, with Peacock running $9.99 a month (for its ad-free Premium plan), HBO Max at $14.99 a month and Netflix’s most popular plan — that Standard plan with two HD streams — running $12.99 a month.
Disney also includes higher-quality 4K HDR streams, a step up in picture quality from traditional HD, in the subscription price and is available across a host of devices and platforms. Apple includes 4K HDR on some non-Apple devices, but limits premium features such as Dolby’s Atmos sound and Vision picture to Apple products.
Netflix has 4K HDR, but you need its priciest $15.99-a-month Premium tier.
HBO Max, of course, is without 4K HDR at launch despite its premium price tag.
When it launches nationwide in July, Peacock will allow for three simultaneous streams on all of its tiers. It will, however, be missing several key features at launch. Mobile downloads, multiple profiles and 4K HDR are all coming, but the.
Mobile downloads will also require users to subscribe to its priciest, ad-free Premium option.
How to watch
When it comes to devices, HBO Max largely follows the same distribution as HBO Now and the Now app on services like iOS, Apple TV, Android and Android TV has been updated to become an HBO Max app. Amazon Fire TV and Roku, however, remain absent due to Samsung televisions, may have apps for some or all of these services as well.. Some newer TV models, like the latest
|Netflix||Peacock||Quibi||HBO Max||Disney||Apple TV Plus||Amazon Prime Video|
|Amazon Fire TV||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The other major limitations are with Quibi, Apple TV Plus and Peacock. Quibi currently only works on iOS and Android devices, although the service just added the ability to it’s working on adding Chromecast support, too. Meanwhile Apple TV Plus isn’t available on Android, Android TV, Chromecast or game consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.to an Apple TV, and
Peacock will be available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, LG and Vizio smart TVs and Microsoft’s Xbox One console when it launches on July 15. It will also work on web browsers and on Comcast’s X1 and Flex boxes. It will come to the PlayStation 4 the week of July 20.
Like HBO Max, it is. That may change, but for now, it is absent on the two largest streaming platforms.
How to save
Saving on streaming
|Netflix||Disney||HBO Max||Quibi||Apple TV Plus||Peacock|
|Promotion||Included with T-Mobile Magenta||Free year with Verizon unlimited data plans||Bundled with AT&T Unlimited &More Premium and Unlimited Elite wireless plans. Also included with certain TV and internet plans||Included with T-Mobile Magenta or One plans with two lines or more||Free year with new iPhone, Mac, iPad purchase||Premium with ads included for free to Comcast or Cox Contour customers|
All six services sweeten the deal with incentives for people who are already using specific services. Depending on your carrier and unlimited plan, you may even be able to get subscriptions for free. T-Mobile unlimited users get free Netflix, for instance, while AT&T bundles HBO on some of its premium unlimited plans and Verizon is offering a free year of Disney Plus. (If you’re on Sprint, you may be able to get free Hulu with ads depending on your unlimited plan.)
T-Mobile is also giving away free Quibi to those on its Magenta or One plans that have at least two lines on the account.
Current pricing for Peacock amounts to a $5 discount for Comcast customers, who get the Premium version for free with ads and option to pay $4.99 a month for the full ad-free Premium subscription. Cox’s Contour customers will also be able to get a similar deal on premium.
Those looking for a longer free trial should sign up for Peacock with an Android device to get Premium for free until October 15.
AT&T will similarly be including HBO Max with. Those currently with HBO through AT&T will also be upgraded to Max for no additional charge. Many users who currently subscribe to HBO Now or HBO through a cable provider .
Apple hasn’t partnered with any wireless or cable provider, but it is offering a free year of Apple TV Plus to anyone who buys a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV or Mac.
So many services, so little time
With even more streaming options it’ll be interesting to see who can actually compete for Netflix’s crown and who will fall by the wayside. Grab your popcorn: The latest battle in the streaming wars is fully underway.
How do you feel about the influx of new services? Will you be unsubscribing from existing ones to make room in your budget? Let us know in the comments below.
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