What is Apple+?
After pretending for many years that it wasn’t interested in developing original content, Apple finally admitted what we knew to be true: It was developing original content. Now it needs a platform on which to put it all.
Enter Apple TV+, Apple’s answer to Netflix, HBO, and the streaming revolution. The tech company thinks that making its own shows, with big celebrities involved, will diversify its revenue streams, help it take on Netflix, and ultimately enable the company to sell more iPhones and iPads.
What’s included in a subscription?
A number of Apple original series and films. Just how many is unknown. But we know a few of the TV shows Apple is developing that will either be available at launch or shortly after:
The Morning Show: a dramedy about the behind-the-scenes of an American morning TV talk show, starring Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, and Jennifer AnistonFor All Mankind: an alternate history drama that shows what might have happened if the USSR landed on the Moon before the US and the space race never ended, co-created by Battlestar Galactica producer Ronald D. MooreSee: a fantasy drama that stars Jason Momoa and takes place “600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind”Dickinson: Hailee Steinfeld plays the titular American poet in this period comedy “with a modern sensibility and tone”Mythic Quest: a comedy about a video game development studio, co-created by and starring Rob McElhenney of It’s Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaTruth Be Told: a legal drama inspired partly by the Serial podcast, starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul
Other shows, like the reimagining of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories will be added to the service each month. Apple has dozens of original shows, films, and documentaries in the works, including stuff from Oprah Winfrey, JJ Abrams, and Sesame Workshop.
When does it launch?
How much will Apple TV+ cost?
$4.99 per month. Those who buy a new Apple device with the TV app pre-installed will a year of the service for free.
How do I get it?
Apple TV+ will reportedly be available in more than 100 countries. It will be part of Apple’s revamped TV app, which Apple is smartly allowing to appear on platforms like Samsung smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and more—so you won’t necessarily need an Apple device to download Apple’s TV app and sign up for an Apple TV+ subscription. There have been rumors that Apple could bundle an Apple TV+ subscription with subscriptions for Apple Music and Apple News Plus, but those haven’t been confirmed.
How is it different from Apple TV, the Apple TV app, and Apple TV channels?
Apple has several products with “TV” in their names, and it’s pretty confusing. Here’s a basic rundown:
Apple TV: The company’s physical digital media player, similar to Amazon Fire TV and Roku
Apple’s “TV” app: Apple’s new version of the Netflix or HBO app. It will be the home for Apple TV+. So if you want to subscribe, you’ll have to download Apple’s TV app on the device of your choice, like you’d do with Netflix, HBO, Amazon Video, Hulu, etc. In addition to containing Apple TV+ content, the TV app will integrate with the iTunes store, so you’ll be able to watch any of the titles in Apple’s iTunes library as part of the app itself. The app comes pre-installed on all iOS and tvOS devices.
Apple TV Channels: A completely separate entity from Apple TV+, though both can be accessed through the TV app. Similar to Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels is a way for you to bundle all of your various streaming subscriptions in one place. The early partners that have been announced are HBO, Showtime, Starz, and CBS All Access. Meaning if you subscribe to any of those services, you’ll be able to access them all as part of Apple’s TV Channel service within the TV app. It’s designed to put all your content into one searchable hub. There won’t be any additional charge to take advantage of the Apple TV Channels service apart from what you’re already paying for the third-party subscriptions. In fact, you’ll be able to manage all your viewing and billing for third-party apps through the Apple TV app.