Rival streaming services Roku, Netflix, and Disney all saw shares knocked lower on Tuesday after Apple announced the release of their highly-anticipated Apple TV+ streaming service, which will begin operation on November 1.
The announcement came with several surprises, the first of which was the price of the service, which at $4.99 a month is undercutting prices at all the major streaming competitors. Analysts had previously expected Apple to price the offering at $9.99 a month.
The second surprise was Apple giving away a free year of Apple TV+ to anyone purchasing an iPhone, iPad, iPad Touch, Apple TV or Mac computer. That move could see the Apple TV+ service add hundreds of millions of subscribers in the coming year, putting it far ahead of competitors like Disney and Comcast, who haven’t launched their own streaming services yet.
Shares of Disney fell 2.2% on Tuesday and Netflix was down 2.2% in response to the news. The hardest-hit, however, was Roku, whose shares plunged 10.5% after Apple unveiled the service launch details.
Apple also lowered the price on the base level iPhone, and finally delivered on its promise of a budget-priced iPad. It also released a new Series 5 Apple Watch, but kept the Series 3 Apple Watch and dropped its price to budget-conscious levels as well. All of these moves will help Apple attract new customers, and will bolster the Apple TV+ subscriber numbers further.
Shares of Apple were up 1.2% on Tuesday and have a 37.4% gain since the start of 2019.