Apple events at their headquarters in Cupertino, California are legendary, dating back to the days of Steve Jobs and “One more thing…”. At their most recent event, executives detailed all the Apple TV+ details you’ve been wondering about since they revealed their plans to enter the streaming wars. There are two primary battlefronts here: cost and content. While services like Netflix and Disney+ both seem to have the market cornered on original content, others like Amazon and Apple TV+ try to compete. While the details are still scarce, we can expect content from Apple TV+ from folks like Oprah Winfrey, Ronald D. Moore, and J.J. Abrams. For any new service like Apple TV+, the new content will roll out slowly. Tim Cook said that subscribers can expect new original series or films each month.
When it comes to pricing, Apple TV+ (and Disney+) are both low-balling the competition. Netflix and HBO both offer 4K Ultra HD content for about $16 per month. Hulu offers a tiered service plan. Viewers who can stomach ads only need to pay $5.99 per month, with no-ad and live-television plans at about $12 and $50 respectively. Disney+ offers an ad-free experience on multiple screens for just $7 per month (or even cheaper if you got the “Founders’ Circle” discount). However, Apple bests them all in this arena with an ad-free experience for just $4.99 per month. Also, if you purchase a new Apple hardware device, you will get a free one-year subscription. This could just be a limited promotion but given Apple’s market share it might behoove them to keep it going.
All the Apple TV+ Details On Original Content
Apple TV+ will launch in 100 countries on November 1, beating Disney+ by nearly two weeks. The service will offer originals and plenty of apps for viewers to find streamable content. Interestingly, competitors like Netflix, Prime Video, and others developed apps for the Apple TV device.
Apple TV+ Original Films
The first two film offerings from Apple TV+ will be The See, starring Jason Momoa, and The Morning Show, featuring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon. The former has a full trailer you can view above, and the latter has a short teaser below. Again, details on the Apple TV+ original content slate are still scarce, but there are more interesting films. M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller Servant and The Banker, featuring Avengers alumni Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson will debut shortly after launch. Hala, the Sundance Film Festival breakout, will also find its way to Apple TV+. Documentary The Elephant Queen will track a “majestic matriarch” from a species close to extinction in an emotional way. Finally, literature fans can expect a biopic about Emily Dickinson entitled, unsurprisingly, Dickinson.
Apple TV+ Series Premiering Post-Launch
Other Apple TV+ details fans want to know about are series. Films are nice, but on streaming services bingeable series are the key. One from Ronald D. Moore called For All Mankind imagines a world where the shifting priorities of the Cold War didn’t end the “space race.” A series for young children from Sesame Workshop called Helpsters sees a Muppet named Cody and a group of monsters solving problems and helping each other.Snoopy In Space will see the return of the Peanuts gang as the lovable dog trains to be an astronaut.
Reality series Little America will document American Immigrant stories first told in Epic magazine. Oprah Winfrey will also interview authors, creating an Oprah’s Book Club for Apple TV+ Truth Be Told, starring Aaron Paul and Octavia Spencer, will examine the rise of true crime podcasts, privacy, and race in the criminal justice system. Also, Apple TV+ will resurrect the series Ghostwriter, which aired on PBS in the 1990s featuring a ghost who can only communicate through writing. It helps a group of teens solve crimes, but no details yet if this is the premise of the new series.
Third Party Apps and Apple’s Other Businesses Will Bolster the Service
Image via Apple
The last important Apple TV+ news involves third-party app subscriptions. Users can download and pay for CBS All Access, Starz, and other services. This puts Apple in direct competition with Amazon Prime Video and Hulu who also offer the add-ons. This additional revenue stream will also cut into the profits made by Roku, the leading device for third-party streaming. According to the available details, Disney+ subscribers who have Samsung or LG smart TV’s will need a device to access the app. Devices like Roku’s streaming stick or Apple TV. This is an important part of the streaming wars, specifically where Netflix is concerned. All their competitors, save for Hulu, have other avenues for revenue than mere streaming.
Apple sells hardware, software (included movies and music), and offers “services” like Apple Pay. Amazon has their retail business, while Warner Bros. and Disney also produce content for games, theme parks, and traditional media. Even Hulu smartly incorporated ad revenue into their lowest-tier subscriptions. Netflix, however, has nothing but streaming and their physical media rental business to bolster their coffers. With lower-cost options available, subscribers might find it difficult to justify the ever-increasing Netflix subscription price.
What do you think about Apple TV+? Are all these streaming services going to be the Netflix killer media experts warned loomed on the horizon? Tell us what will keep you with Netflix in the comments below or on social media!
Featured image via screengrab
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.