Tim Cook hopes there’s no business like show business.
And with the backing of Hollywood A-listers Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Steve Carrell, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Momoa, J.J. Abrams, Sarah Bareilles, Alfre Woodard, Kumail Nanjiani, Jennifer Aniston, even Big Bird – each appeared on the Steve Jobs Theater stage and will do their part to contribute original content – Apple’s CEO on Monday announced Apple TV+, a long-rumored ad-free, on-demand entertainment streaming service.
Apple TV+ will launch in the fall and be part of a revamped Apple TV app.
In broad strokes, the new service would appear to pit Apple against the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Apple didn’t spell out pricing for Apple TV+, but it doesn’t appear to be free. You’ll have the option, apparently, to pay for premium channels you don’t currently subscribe to (with Apple presumably getting an undisclosed cut).
Meantime, the revamped Apple TV app will turn up in May, via the Apple TV set-top box and on your iPhone and iPad. The app will come to Macs in the fall.
And Apple also announced that it will be made available on smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio, and even on the boxes that compete with Apple TV hardware, notably Fire TV and Roku.
“We love TV,” Cook said on stage.Separately, the company announced a beefed-up newspaper and magazine service called Apple News+. It costs $9.99 a month and includes such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, Toronto Star and Los Angeles Times, along with more than 300 magazines like People, National Geographic, Popular Science, Sports Illustrated, Billboard, Vogue, Fortune, New York and The New Yorker.
Content will be curated: It is unknown whether you’ll get all or just some of the content from your favorite digital publications under Apple’s single news subscription.
Apple says it is not charging extra to share the news subscription with members of your family. The first month is free.
The app features animated magazine covers that resemble Live Photos on the iPhone.
And in a nod to privacy, Apple claims advertisers will not be able to track what you are reading.