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Monday March 25, 2019 11:57 am

Apple TV+: Apple’s new video subscription service announced

What is Apple TV+?

Apple finally unveiled details about its subscription video streaming service, Apple TV+, at its It's Show Time Apple Event today. There were several components to the Apple TV+ announcement, starting with an updated TV app for the Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even smart TVs and competing streaming sticks.

The TV app is free to use, and aims to bring in content from all of your favorite channels and apps (no Netflix, though,) all into one interface. Part of this is a new feature called Apple TV Channels, where you can choose to add free and pay services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, and more and watch all content right there. Apple handles the actual video streams, guaranteeing picture quality and sound will both be top-notch. The new TV app, which drops in May, will also provide customized and personalized recommendations for shows it thinks you'll want to watch, based on your viewing habits. Apple says processing is done locally on your devices, and your viewing remains completely private.

As far as the content play, Apple TV+ will introduce a bunch of original programming that will be part of the service. Several Hollywood stars and personalities took the stage to talk about their prohects today, including Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Kumail Nanijani, J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, Big Bird, and Oprah Winfrey. Apple is said to be spending roughly $2 billion on original content this year which it hopes will be able to set them apart from services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and similar.

“We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

With your subscription to Apple TV+, you get an ad-free experience with all content available on demand, and with everything beind downloadable so you can take it with you and watch where you might not have a great streaming connection (read: airplanes.) New original programming will be released on a monthly basis after the original launch, which we expect to see happen this fall. Apple also says that the original content that you'll find on Apple TV+ will be family-friendly - gratuitous violence and sex likely won't have a place here.

One major detail that Apple left out, similar to the Apple Arcade subscription gaming service that was announced at the same event, is pricing. We don't yet know what it will cost for an Apple TV+ subscription, but based on the amount of original content that Apple will be offering out of the gate when compared to more mature services like Netflix and Hulu, it would seem that Apple would have a hard time gaining traction if they charged anything over $4.99 a month.

Apple also announced the new Apple Card credit card, and Apple News+ Magazine and Newspaper service at the event today.

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