Apple finally released details for its forthcoming streaming service, Apple TV+, setting a launch date of November 1 and an introductory price of $4.99 per month.
The service will roll out its first original series at launch and then add more originals every month, CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s product event at its Cupertino headquarters. It will be available in more than 100 countries as of November 1. You can see a list of its original series and projects here.
While it is difficult to fairly compare prices of various services given significant differences between offerings, the $5 monthly cost puts Apple at the low end of subscription streaming.
In an additional incentive, customers who buy an iPhone, iMac or Apple TV will get one year of AppleTV+ for free. That option fits with the widespread expectation that Apple would seek to leverage its installed base of hardware to give the new service a boost.
Apple’s approach to streaming has another key component aside from original content: serving as a gateway to third-party streaming apps, including Showtime, CBS All Access, Starz and a few dozen others. That capability will bring in fees on each download and mirrors strategies in iTunes, the App Store and Apple Pay, components of the company’s increasingly high-priority Services unit. As its devices face sales erosion in many parts of the world after years of growth, the company is shifting its focus toward service fees.
The stock of Roku, which has evolved into a leading force in third-party streaming, was down 6% in mid-day trading. Apple shares had gained a fraction.
The Apple TV+ specifics had been awaited for months by dealmakers and consumers alike. Apple held a product event last March, during which it spent an hour bringing celebrities to the stage but disclosing strikingly few details. Disney followed with an investor day a couple of weeks later, delivering a wealth of hard numbers and strategic points surrounding its November 12 launch of subscription service Disney+. In addition to Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal are planning major streaming initiatives as traditional media and Big Tech alike seek to slow the momentum of Netflix.
“Our mission is to bring you the most compelling stories from the best minds in TV and film,” Cook said during a segment of the longer show that lasted just a few minutes toward the beginning of a longer show.
Emphasizing what he called the “incredible” reaction to the trailers of Apple originals, which he said have drawn 100 million views, Cook presented a full trailer for fantasy drama See, which stars Jason Momoa. You can watch it below the story.
The product event kicked off with a presentation dedicated to Apple Arcade, its new videogame service, which will have an introductory price of $4.99 per month for whole family, with a one-month free trial.
New versions of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch are also being unveiled during the event, which is continuing.