On Monday, Apple announced its new TV streaming service called Apple TV Plus, as well as a revamped Apple TV experience that competes against the biggest streaming services. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “This will be a different kind of event. We’ve developed world-class services, and that’s what today is all about.” The announcement is considered crucial for Apple as its iPhone sales flatten, and the company looks to its growing services division to make up for the revenue loss.
Apple TV+ was unveiled to “tell great stories,” as Mr. Cook put it. Among the creative partners introduced were Hollywood elites including Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, J.J. Abrams, and Oprah.
Despite being categorized as "streaming services," however, the new Apple TV Plus and its peers have distinctively differing features from each other. The new Apple TV Plus will have original content, streaming apps with an Apple TV device, the option to buy or rent content, the ability to watch purchased iTunes content with Apple TV or on other devices with the Apple TV app, including mobile devices, computers, some smart TVs, and some streaming devices, includes premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz with Apple TV Channels, and will not contain ads.
What Apple TV will not offer are live TV, such as Hulu, since it is not its own cable provider. Apple did not announce pricing for Apple TV+, which will be available in the fall.
A new Apple TV app, called Apple TV Channels, offers TV shows, sports, movies, and children’s programming tailored for the user through machine learning of their habits. The app, available beginning in May, can be viewed through digital platforms like Samsung, Roku, and Amazon.com.
Apple News+ is now available. The first month is free, and USD $9.99 a month after. The company is revamping it by bringing more than 300 magazines such as Time, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, and the New Yorker.
The consumer market is embracing digital subscription services in record numbers, according to market researchers. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of American households have a video-streaming subscription service while 65 percent pay for traditional TV. According to Deloitte, this marks the first time streaming has overtaken traditional TV in the U.S. and with Apple’s entry, and the impending launches of services from Comcast ’s NBC and Disney, the shift is likely to accelerate.
Though iPhone sales dipped 15 percent in the December quarter, they still accounted for 62 percent of Apple’s USD $84 billion in total sales for the quarter. Services rose 19 percent and made up 13 percent of total quarterly sales.