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.
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.
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 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