BY WENDY LEE
LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple on Tuesday announced its streaming service, Apple TV+, will launch on Nov. 1 and charge $4.99 a month.
The service will enter an already crowded marketplace of streaming video services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. And more competition is coming, with Disney and WarnerMedia offering their services later this year or next.
But Apple’s streaming service undercuts the price of its rivals. It’s less expensive than Disney’s upcoming streaming offering, Disney+, which will cost $6.99 monthly or $70 a year, and Netflix’s basic plan, which costs $8.99 a month.
Apple said that the first shows available on Apple TV+ will launch on Nov. 1 and will be in more than 100 countries. During his presentation, Cook did not say how many shows would be available at that time.
“All of these incredible shows for the price of a single movie rental,” Cook said at a press event held on Tuesday at a theater at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino.
As an incentive, consumers will receive a year of Apple TV+ included when they purchase Apple products, such as an iPhone or iPad, Cook said.
CELEBS ON BOARD
The content on these platforms will play a key role in determining whether consumers pay to subscribe. Apple has signed up high-profile directors, actors and celebrities to help it launch its service.
Series slated for Apple TV+ include a drama about a broadcast morning show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Some industry insiders, however, have questioned Apple’s content strategy.
Cook said that there is strong demand for the shows on its platform, with trailers for its new series “For All Mankind,” “The Morning Show” and “Dickinson” garnering more than 100 million views.
One advantage that Apple has is that people around the world already use iPhones, and streaming video content through Apple’s own apps can be more convenient than downloading new ones.
As Oprah Winfrey, who is working on bringing documentaries to Apple TV+, noted at an Apple event in March, “(They’re) in a billion pockets, y’all. That represents a major opportunity to make a genuine impact.”