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Apple to launch SVoD service this fall

 

Tech giant Apple has today unveiled its long-awaited subscription VoD service that it hopes will rival Netflix and Amazon, alongside a raft of star-studded original programmes to watch on it.

After years of rumour, speculation and guesswork, the Cupertino, California-based company best known for its iPhones and iPads, has set an autumn launch date for Apple TV+, for which it is expected to spend US$2bn on original programming this year.

Apple plans to launch it in more than 100 countries some time this fall, via a redesigned Apple TV app, on platforms including iOS, Mac, Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV and various smart TVs from manufacturers including Samsung. The company did not, however, disclose pricing today.

The company described Apple TV+ as “a new streaming service where the most creative minds in TV and film tell the kinds of stories only they can. Featuring original shows and movies across every genre, exclusively on the Apple TV app.”

Original content on the service will come from an array of big-name talent that Apple has signed up. Steven Spielberg is reviving the vintage Amazing Stories format and Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell are set to appear in comedy series The Morning Show.

Oprah Winfrey will have some new documentaries on the service, including Toxic Labor (working title), which will explore sexual harassment in the workplace, and there is a new preschool show from Sesame Workshop called Helpsters. Other talent behind Apple TV+ originals include JJ Abrams, Jason Momoa, Octavia Spencer, Jon M Chu and M Night Shyamalan.

“We’re honoured that the absolute best line-up of storytellers in the world – both in front of and behind the camera – are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services. “Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

The company announced Apple TV Channels, which will allow customers to pay for HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, Epix, Tastemade, Noggin, MTV Hits and other services directly through the TV app. The new version of the app launches in May.

Apple’s VP of services Peter Stern said the plan was to allow users of the app to avoid “bouncing around from app to app” and to keep them in the Apple environment even when using other on-demand services. Netflix, however, isn’t in the mix.

The new Apple TV app allows viewers to personalise what they watch across their existing apps and services. The app will offer suggestions for shows and movies from over 150 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as pay TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue. Optimum and Suddenlink from Altice will be added later this year.

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