Apple CEO Tim Cook announced more details of the tech giant's long-awaited move into streaming today, though he did not give details on how much the service would cost.
Apple’s new TV app will launch in May and will offer users the option to subscribe to individual streaming service, including Starz, Showtime, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel and HBO Go, or to watch programmed content and sports through the new Apple TV Channels feature.
Cook made the announcement at an event held at the company’s campus in Cupertino, California.
“Our vision for Apple TV app is to bring together your favourite shows, movies, sports and news and make them available on all of your devices,” Cook said.
“TV is more than just entertainment, it’s cultural. TV at its best enriches our lives and we can share it with people we love.”
Apple Unveils News Subscription Service Dubbed Apple News+ https://t.co/mwzq5zWNMh
— Variety (@Variety) March 25, 2019
The Netflix of online news? Apple News gets gets a paid option
Apple also announced a new paid tier for its Apple News app, to be called Apple News+. It will cost US$9.99 a month ($12.99 a month in Canada) and will allow subscribers to access a range of premium magazine content, including back issues.
The paid option will become available in May and will include access to more than 300 magazines, including GQ, Sports Illustrated, Variety, Esquire, Wired, Popular Science and National Geographic plus newspapers such as Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.
“We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it will have on your lives,” Cook said.
“We are bringing magazines to Apple News,” Cook said. “Magazines are iconic, and a part of our culture.”
Apple also promised that it would not allow advertisers to track the behaviour of Apple News+ users.
The premium feature will be integrated into the existing Apple News app where users read five billion articles each month. It will add some new wrinkles to the presentation, including ‘live covers’, highlighted stories and a feature which recommends stories you might like from magazines you do not normally read.
With the help of stars like @Oprah and Steven Spielberg, Apple CEO @tim_cook lifted the curtain on several new subscription products including #AppleTVPlus and #AppleNewsPlus. Get the details: https://t.co/N0hq5cGFay pic.twitter.com/8oONq7n9zY
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 25, 2019
Cook gives more details on AppleTV: ad-free, on demand platform
“We designed a new TV experience where you can pay for only the channels you want, all in one app,” Peter Stern, Apple’s Vice-President of Services, said at the event.
“This is how TV should work.”
Cook also confirmed that Apple TV would be ad-free and that all content would be downloadable.
In addition to AppleTV will be a service which includes original content. This will be known as AppleTV+. The company has already made deals with 34 TV and movie productions to secure original programming, including Steven Spielberg’s reboot of Amazing Stories, The Morning Show with Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell and Jennifer Aniston, a drama titled Seestarring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodward and an anthology series by Kumail Nanjiani called Little America.
Apple admits it doesn’t know anything about making #television. But it has just signed someone who does: @Oprah. The star is expected to be a major player as it battles #Amazon, #HBO and #Netflix for a slice of the streaming service pie. https://t.co/mdTe4lmXSn
— The CEO Magazine (@TheCEOMagazineG) June 18, 2018
The biggest drawcard in the AppleTV staple is Oprah Winfrey, who announced she is involved with two documentaries to be released on the platform. Toxic Labor will focus on workplace harassment and another unnamed documentary will look at mental health issues. Winfrey also said she was working on “the biggest, most vibrant, most stimulating book club on the planet,” which would involve live streams with her favourite authors.
AppleTV+ will not go live until “sometime in fall”, which begins on 23 September in the US. It will be a subscription service.
Users that subscribe to a channel through Apple TV will be able to access all the channel’s content through the AppleTV app.