As widely anticipated, Apple plans to take on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon in the streaming video space with a new service called Apple TV+.

The company has been developing its own set of exclusive TV shows with big-name Hollywood talent attached to draw in customers. But Apple TV+ is also acting as a hub that will let you add other channels for $10 per month each, with channels available at launch including HBO, Showtime, Starz, and CBS All Access.

But Apple TV+ is only the tip of the iceberg for Apple’s new subscription services. The company is also introducing a new subscription news service called Apple News+ and an upcoming subscription gaming service called Apple Arcade.

Apple TV+

Launching this fall, the new Apple TV+ subscription service will include more than 100 exclusive movies and TV shows from creators including Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, JJ Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan, Jennifer Aniston, and Reese Witherspoon.

Apple hasn’t announced pricing for Apple TV+ yet, but the company has announced that it will roll out a new Apple TV app and support for Apple TV channels starting in May.

That will allow users to sign up for third-party subscriptions through the Apple TV app and access them on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV or other smart TV platforms — starting with Samsung smart TVs this spring, and eventually expanding to additional devices including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and LG, Vizio, and Sony smart TVs (which suggests Android TV and webOS will also be supported).

With prices for each channel running a standard $10 per month, this could be one of the cheapest ways to sign up for HBO Go, which normally runs $15 per month on other platforms.

Apple News+

While Apple News has been a thing for years, it was previously something of a clearinghouse for content that was already available elsewhere online for free.

The new Apple News+ is a subscription-based service that lets you pay $10 per month to access content from 300 magazines and newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Time, The Atlantic, Wired, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, People, Vogue, and ELLE.

It’s not clear if you’ll get access to every article from each of those publications, but for less than the price of a single subscription to some newspapers, Apple News+ could be a good deal for heavy news consumers.

Unfortunately this service does not seem to be cross-platform: you’ll need a device running iOS 12.2 or macOS 10.14.4 to use Apple News+.

The service is launching first in the US and Canada before expanding to the UK and Australia later this year.

Apple Arcade

Apple is the latest company to try a Netflix-for-games approach by letting customers pay a monthly fee for access to a set of games.

Unlike Netflix (or the current version of Netflix, anyway), that doesn’t mean you’ll be streaming content over the internet. Instead you’ll be able to download games and play online or offline. But the idea is that you don’t need to pull out your wallet anew every time you want to play a different game — pay monthly and you’ll have access to a large library of content.

Apple says more than 100 “new and exclusive” games will be available to Apple Arcade subscribers and users will be able to play on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.

We still don’t know how much a subscription will cost or what games will be included, but we should get more details closer to the time Apple Arcade launches this fall. Apple says the service will be available in more than 150 countries and you’ll be able to access Apple Arcade from a new tab in the App Store.

Coming this fall to 150 countries, App Store for iOS, macOS, tVOS, pricing tbd



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5 replies on “Apple goes all-out on subscriptions (TV, News, and Games)”

  1. With so much fragmentation across all the streaming platforms it appears as if the major corporations are catching up to cord cutters such as myself. I would still rather go this route than pay my local cable subscribers though.

  2. monthly subscription for primarily mobile games? It better be alot cheaper than Xbox Game Pass $10/month as it is easily the best deal in the industry right now.

  3. I am having a hard time imagining anyone paying for that content. It seems like second rate stuff which should be free. Even free I doubt many people would be interested.

    1. Nah, not free but even at a cheap price its questionable.
      The thing that makes it hard to recommend is that MFi Controller compatibility isn’t mandatory, so there’s a lot of App Games that won’t be as fun.

      And what really kills it is the price of the ecosystem: iPods, iPhones, iPads, iLaptops, iMacs, iTVs.
      At such higher prices, people are more likely to get a Windows Laptop and Windows Desktop, and use a competitor alternative like Steam. Not to mention getting something like an Xbox or PS4 instead of the Apple TV. And there are decent App Game alternatives over on the Google Play Store, and the options of emulators, when you go for a device like the Xiaomi Pocophone 2 instead of an iPod or iPhone.

      I conceded, the only market where Apple and its offerings are uncontested are in the iPad/Tablet market. But this product isn’t compelling enough to justify its position for an expensive iPad.

  4. As always – it will come down to content. You can have a great lineup initially, but people are going to get quickly bored and move on. Of course, Apple will be happy to quietly bill you per month without you realizing it until much later.

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