It has been six months since Apple announced they would be entering the lucrative streaming market with Apple TV+ and finally details of the cost, content, and launch date have been announced.
Apple CEO Tim Cook made the announcement at the tech giant’s annual high profile product event on Tuesday alongside the unveiling of the company’s highly anticipated new iPhones (the 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max).
The most notable aspect of Apple TV+ is arguably the price, coming in at a cost of $4.99/£4.99/€4.99 a month, which undercuts its main rivals Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney +.
Among the original shows set to launch on Apple TV+ from November 1 are The Morning Show with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston and Dickinson, starring Hailee Steinfeld.
Accessible in over 100 countries via a TV app on iPhones, iPads, Apple TV set-top boxes, iPod touches and Macs, and also on a web browser version at tv.apple.com, it’s likely to entice more subscribers to Apple products. From today, anyone who buys any of the aforementioned Apple products gets one year of Apple TV+ free.
However, Apple is also working with other manufacturers to make the app available on Samsung smart TVs (currently available on select models), and it will be available on Roku, Sony, Vizio and Amazon Fire TV “in the future”.
So what is in store for Apple TV+ subscribers? Here’s everything you need to know…
How much will Apple TV+ cost in Ireland?
The service, launching on November 1, will cost just €4.99 a month but it’s free for the first year for anyone who buys an Apple product from today. Time to invest in that new iPhone 11 Pro Max?
By contrast, in Ireland Netflix has three price plans: Basic is €7.99 per month (you can watch on one screen in SD quality); Standard is now €11.99 (two screens with HD available) and Premium is €15.99 (four screens with HD and ultra HD available). Prices for the latter two packages increased by €1 and €2 respectively in June.
Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, costs €2.99 for the first six months, rising to €5.99 per month after that and you can watch on three devices at once.
Disney+ launches in the US on November 12 and will cost US subscribers $6.99 a month (around €6.20) but it won’t be rolled out to Europe until a later date and the euro price has yet to be confirmed.
What content will be available on Apple TV+?
The service will feature only original content from its launch date on November 1.
The aforementioned The Morning Show is executive produced by (and also stars) Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, with Steve Carell also starring. It’s set in the world of morning news and promises an honest look at the “complex relationships between men and women in the workplace”.
See is a sci-fi drama set 600 years in the future whne a virus has almost wiped out humankind and left the survivors blind. Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard star.
Hailee Steinfeld stars in Dickinson, a ‘darkly comedic’ coming of age story about the poet Emily Dickinson.
Ronald D Moore’s new series For All Mankind imagines what life would be like if the global space race had never ended.
Helpsters is a new series for kids from the makers of Sesame Street. It stars Cody and a team of monsters who love to help solve problems, and sounds like it may well be designed to rival Netflix hit Ask the StoryBots. Also for kids are Snoopy in Space and Ghostwriter, a reinvention of the original series.
Also landing on November 1 is the documentary The Elephant Queen which follows a mother elephant and her herd on an epic journey.
When the service was announced in March this year, chat show queen Oprah Winfrey was slated to work with Apple on two documentaries, one about sexual harassment in the workplace and one about depression. She is also building a global book club community.
Read more: Pat Stacey: ‘Soon, television will be a land fit only for superheroes and nothing else’
Each month there will be new additions including M Night Shyamalan’s new psychological thriller, Servant, about a Philadelphia couple in mourning after a tragedy causes a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul team up for a Truth Be Told, a new series exploring American’s obsession with true crime podcasts and investigates concerns about privacy, media and race.
Little America tells the stories of immigrants in America, inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine.
Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson co-star in The Banker, a feature film inspired by a true story. Two African American entrepreneurs try to work aorund the racial limitations of 1950s America and provide housing loans to the African American community in Texas. Nicholas Hoult and Nia Long also star.
Hala, which screened at Sundance and Toronto film festivals, follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.
How does it compare to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney +?
Netflix has been honing its service for two decades, making its first foray into streaming in 2007. Its Netflix Original series Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, both launched in 2013, put it on the map and cemented consumer trust and loyalty.
Since then the company has evolved into a behemoth, spending tens of bilions of dollars over the past six years. These days the output features almost as many duds as gems on its monthly slate – but it hardly matters as the scale of its output is simply jaw-dropping. However, last year it received more Emmy nominations than HBO so the quality is there. This is, of course, reflected in the price.
Other services are taking a different tack. Amazon Prime Video has a lower price and smaller offering, but boasts series including The Marvellous Mrs Maisel and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan as well as Amazon Studio films of the calibre of Manchester by the Sea among their original productions.
Disney +, meanwhile, will launch with a very strong historical slate featuring Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. This includes animated classics like Aladdin and The Jungle Book.
Read more: More than Marvel – here’s what’s coming to Disney’s new streaming service Disney +
New shows already on tap include The Mandalorian, the first live action Star Wars series, created by Jon Favreau; a prequel to the Star Wars film Rogue One, starring Diego Luna; a series about the Marvel character Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston; a rebooted High School Musical series; and a new documentary series focused on Disney.
Disney also recently acquired Fox and the Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Cheaper by the Dozen franchises from the Fox library will all be rebooted.
Apple TV+ may not have that historical bag of tricks to dip into but it has direct access to millions globally via its phones and other devices. Apple also has deep pockets (reportedly shelling out $300m for just two seasons of The Morning Show) and has names including Steven Spielberg, M Night Shyamalan, Ron Howard and JJ Abrams already on the roster.
How can I watch Apple TV+?
It will be accessible in over 100 countries via a TV app on iPhones, iPads, Apple TV set-top boxes, iPod touches and Macs, and also on a web browser version at tv.apple.com. The Apple TV app is also available on select Samsung smart TVs, and will come to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms ‘in the future’.
You can already watch trailers and add Apple TV+ series and movies to Up Next on the Apple TV app so they’ll land when the first episodes become available. Most series will premiere with three episodes with one new episode to roll out each week. However, full seasons of some series will land at once.
What else do I need to know?
Through family sharing, up to six family membes can share one Apple TV+ subscription. There’s a seven day free trial for new subscribers and you cn watch both online and offline, ad-free and on demand.
Will Apple’s streaming content rival that of Netflix?
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