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Apple TV+ Reveals Launch Details, Sets Up November Battle With Disney+

Apple's highly-anticipated SVOD streaming service will launch with "The Morning Show", "See", and "Dickinson."

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook


Apple TV+ will launch on November 1 and will cost $4.99 per month, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Tuesday. Cook shared details about Apple’s upcoming products and services during a wide-ranging product presentation at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino.

Outside the pricing details and release date, Apple premiered the trailer for “See,” an Apple TV+ series starring Jason Momoa. The sci-fi series focuses on a future Earth where humans have lost their sense of sight and must find new ways to interact and survive after a virus devastates the planet’s population.

Previously announced Apple TV+ shows include “For All Mankind” and “Dickinson.” The former, created by Ronald D. Moore, is an uplifting alt-history show about NASA’s continuing space race, while the Hailee Steinfeld-led “Dickinson” will offer a modernized, millennial-focused take on 19th century poet Emily Dickinson.

All three of those shows will be available on Apple TV+ when the ad-free service launches. The highly-anticipated “The Morning Show,” which stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell, will also be available on launch. That show will explore the world of morning news and skewer the egos of the morning anchors who help Americans wake up in the morning.

Other original launch titles include “Helpers,” a children series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” and documentary “The Elephant Queen”, which will follow an elephant matriarch and her herd. Oprah Winfrey, who is working on several projects for the service, will also host a project about building a global book club community, though specific details and a project title were unavailable.

Prior to Tuesday, details about Apple TV+ had been kept mostly under wraps since the SVOD streaming service was announced in March. That’s not unusual for Apple, which tends to play things close to the vest until their products and services are nearly on the market. Apple is hinging on its celebrity partners, consumer loyalty, and brand awareness to sell the service, as opposed to regularly releasing trailers and new information about the service.

The brand awareness factor is especially relevant for Apple TV+: Starting today, Apple will offer a free year of the streaming service to customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac. Subscribers can watch Apple TV+ originals both online and offline and on the Apple TV app. Outside Apple products, the Apple TV app is also available on select Samsung smart TVs, and will come to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.

Apple also announced that up to six individuals can share one Apple TV+ subscription through Family Sharing. Allowing simultaneous streams per one subscription is becoming an increasingly enticing selling point for some streaming services. For example, Disney’s upcoming Disney+ will allow subscribers to run four simultaneous streams per subscription. Simultaneous streaming has been a point of criticism for some legacy services, including Netflix, which charges subscribers $16 per month if they want four simultaneous streams.

Besides those highlighted at the event today, upcoming Apple TV+ projects include a mental health docuseries created by Oprah and Prince Harry and “Servant,” a psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan. Although no release dates have been set for those series, new Apple TV+ originals will be added to the Apple TV app every month.

The platform will also be home to original movies, such as “The Banker”, which stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial tensions of the 1950s. Apple TV+ will also be home to “Hala,” an official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival that follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.

Apple TV+ is expected to become a major player in the streaming market, but it’s not the only new competition: Disney+ will launch on November 12 at $6.99 per month – although those that took advantage of a recently-concluded three-year subscription offer will still pay less than the monthly Apple TV+ rate –  and will also host a library of star-studded original shows and legacy content. The streaming television market will become even more crowded next year, when HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s still-unnamed streaming services debut in the first half of 2020.

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