It’s a bold strategy for BET.
The channel, together with entertainment kingpin Tyler Perry, set the price tag for BET+, its upcoming ad-free streaming service, at $9.99 per month on Monday morning — making it one of the most expensive services on the market when it launches on Sept. 19.
In fact, there are only four major streaming services that cost more for ad-free entertainment. Showtime runs $10.99 per month — although customers can get it for about $9.15 per month if they pay for its annual $109.90 package.
Hulu, which offers a variety of pricing options, depending on whether customers want live-TV or are willing to deal with ads, is $11.99 per month for its ad-free plan. Netflix, the industry’s leading service with more than 150 million global subscribers, costs $12.99 for its standard plan, its most popular package offering HD streaming on two devices at the same time; its cheapest package runs $8.99 and its most expensive plan costs $15.99 per month.
Finally, HBO Now costs $14.99 per month. (It’s new service, HBO Max, including every episode of classic shows like “Friends” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” could cost up to $17 next year when it debuts.)
There are comparable services to BET+ — the WWE charges $9.99 per month for its SVOD, and Amazon Prime Video on its own that runs $8.99 each month — but it comes in on the high-end when compared to other new entrants into the crowded streaming landscape. Disney+, for instance, will cost $6.99 per month when it comes out later this fall. BET+ will feature exclusive new programming and existing movies, series and specials from leading black creators including Tyler Perry, Will Packer, “Girl’s Trip” screenwriter Tracy Oliver and others.
BET’s announcement comes a day before Apple is expected to offer more details on its new service, dubbed Apple TV+, at its annual product launch event. And yes, that makes three streaming services that have launched in 2019 with a “plus” in their name.