At its Sept. 10 iPhone 11 event, Apple showed off a trailer for the Jason Momoa-led SEE before CEO Tim Cook finally spilled the beans on Apple TV Plus’ pricing and availability.
Apple TV+ will launch in 100 countries on November 1, and that price includes streaming for the family, which presumably means multiple simultaneous streams.
The juicy part, Apple’s also giving away a free year of service with new Apple hardware, including Macs and iPhones. Admittedly, that’s just a savings of $60 per month, a small drop in the price (5%, to be precise ) of a $1,099 MacBook Air—The subscription streaming service is hitting more than a week earlier than Disney Plus and it’s also going to cost $2 less, at $4.99 per month—Yes, that $4.99 per month price is pretty low, undercutting Hulu ($5.99 per month), Netflix ($8.99 per month) and Disney Plus ($6.99 per month); the latter service launches Nov. 12.
Apple’s aggressive pricing may be a sign that the company recognizes the challenge of taking on a powerhouse like Disney. While Disney’s service will feature original programming along with access to a vast library of shows and movies, Apple TV+ launches with just a handful of original programs.
“Our mission for Apple TV plus is to bring you the best original stories from the most creative minds in television and film,” said Cook, speaking to the audience at the iPhone press event today. “Stories that help you find inspiration that are grounded in emotion. Stories to believe in. Stories with purpose, “ and ”most “ Apple TV Plus series will premiere with three episodes followed by one new episode weekly, while “full seasons of some series will be available all at once.” he said.
Apple plans to add new original shows to the Apple TV+ roster every month. Some of the more anticipated shows arriving include a morning show drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston; a Witherspoon-backed comedy based on Curtis Sittenfeld’s “You Think It, I’ll Say It;” a thriller called “Truth Be Told” starring Octavia Spencer; a revival of “Amazing Stories” exec-produced by Steven Spielberg; a new space drama “For All Mankind” from “Battlestar Galactica” creator Ronald D. Moore; a show from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle; an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation;” original shows produced by Oprah Winfrey; a psychological thriller “Servant” produced by M. Night Shyamalan; an animated series called “Central Park” from “Bob’s Burgers” creator, and many others.
The new video-streaming service, will have a ‘download’ option for watching its originals offline. In addition, Apple TV Plus will be available to watch on competitors’ devices too. Apple’s TV app is available on smart TVs from Samsung, and it’s supposed to become available this year on Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV devices and smart TVs from Sony, LG and Vizio.
Apple TV+ has always looked like a bit of a tough sell in the face of established competitors like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Still, the super-low price and the fact that so many people will get to watch the shows for a full year after picking up a new iPhone, iPad, or other Apple hardware means that it’ll likely have a sizable audience right out of the gate.