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Is there a Monthly Fee for Apple TV? (Plus Free Channels)

Last Updated Feb 5, 2020
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The Apple TV is a popular streaming device that lets you access all your favorite services like Netflix, Hulu, etc. Apple has even added its own streaming platform, meant to offer comparable features to other services, but are there monthly fees for Apple TV?

Is there a Monthly Fee for Apple TV? If you’re looking to use the Apple TV as a streaming device and all-in-one interface, there are no associated monthly fees. However, Apple TV offers an optional paid subscription-based service, Apple TV+.

As a long time Apple TV user, I wanted to find out what was offered in the optional monthly subscription services. I was also curious about what Free Channels they offered, and whether or not a paid service was required to access the other features.

What is Apple TV+?

If you’re like me and are subscribed to multiple streaming services, you may be wondering, what does the Apple TV+ have to offer for additional services, and how is it different? Apple TV+ is meant to provide viewers the ability to access multiple channels and content via one intuitive interface.

In addition to streaming popular channels like Starz, Showtime, HBO, and many others, the Apple TV+ subscription also includes exclusive “original”  tv shows, movies, and even some documentaries.

Apple TV+ Originals

Here’s a quick look at some of the original content the Apple TV+ subscription has to offer (Per

  • The Morning Show
  • Little America
  • Mythic Quest
  • Servant
  • See

Additionally, they provide educational shows geared towards younger audiences, like Helpsters.

It is worth noting, however, that the Apple TV+ service does not offer access to licensed shows (like Netflix and Hulu). According to

Apple TV Plus won’t offer licensed content like Netflix or Amazon Prime does, which covers all syndicated shows, like The Big Bang Theory, Mr. Robot or Seinfeld. 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the basic Apple TV+ pricing structure and subscription breakdown.

Apple TV+ Subscription Break Down

To get a better idea of what the Apple TV+ subscription services have to offer, I’ve provided a breakdown of some of the requirements, associated costs, and a side by side comparison with some other comparable services.

What’s Required to Get Started?

I was surprised to learn that an Apple TV isn’t required to use the Apple TV+ app. The app comes automatically preloaded with Apple devices, but you can also use Smart TVs, Roku devices, and more. provides a full list of compatible devices on its site as well. All you need is a device capable of accessing/downloading apps and third-party streaming services.

How Much Does it Cost?

  • Currently, the Apple TV+ service costs $4.99/Month (with a free 7-day trial)
    • Additionally, you can get a free year subscription with the purchase of a qualifying Apple device.

How Does it Compare?

Here’s a look at how the pricing structure stacks up to similar streaming services:

Apple TV+Disney +NetflixHulu
Monthly Cost$4.99/Month$6.99/Month$8.99/Month (Basic Plan)$11.99/Month
Free with Adsn/an/an/a

Can I use the Apple TV app Without a Paid Subscription?

An added benefit of the Apple TV app is that you can still use it as an intuitive, all in one interface to access purchases and recently watched shows (regardless of the streaming service initially used) without a paid subscription. Basically, you won’t need to navigate back to that particular streaming service.

It is important to note, however, that the Apple TV+ app is meant to be a standalone service, so it does not integrate with other streaming, subscription-based services like Netflix and Hulu.

Free Channels

Additionally, the Apple TV allows individuals to stream free channels. These standalone services provide users with the ability to access hundreds of shows, without being locked into a subscription-based service. Additionally, the Apple TV app offers native support for these channels with very straightforward access. Here’s a quick look at some free channels available with the Apple TV:

  • Pluto TV
  • Popcornflix
  • Sony Crackle
  • Tubi TV
  • Vudu

Data courtesy of

Even without the additional paid subscription, the ability to access multiple free channels, each packed with content, makes the Apple TV an enticing and budget-friendly choices for your media viewing.

Is Apple TV+ for Me?

With this information in mind, you may be wondering if the Apple TV+ subscription is suitable for your needs. If you’re looking to use the Apple TV app as an all-in-one interface for watching different types of media, you’ll find you have lots of excellent options. As an added bonus, the app is loaded with numerous free channels. However, if you want access to Apple’s original movies, tv shows, and documentaries, you’ll need to opt for their paid Apple TV+ subscription.

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