Apple announced Apple TV Plus, the tech giant’s much-awaited streaming service which features original content from Hollywood heavyweights like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa and will launch this fall.
It will be ad-free and available on Apple devices as well as other platforms such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Apple did not announce pricing or confirm whether the service would be available on Android devices.
In addition to Apple TV Plus, in May Apple is launching Apple TV Channels, which will allow users to subscribe to individual streaming services.
Apple TV Channels include HBO, Showtime, Starz and others, and will live inside the company’s newly designed Apple TV app. Notably, Apple TV Channels excludes Netflix content which was expected.
Apple does not yet offer a discounted bundle of other companies’ streaming services. That would have given it an edge over Amazon, which through its Prime Video Channels allows Prime members to subscribe to individual streaming services at full price.
Like Apple, Amazon is making a push into original programming as a way to sell other services. But Prime Video viewers also get the benefits of the fast Amazon order delivery and other perks that come with Prime membership, so may be unlikely to scrap that service for Apple.
And unlike Netflix, Apple TV Plus will not come stocked with a library of popular broadcast shows. Netflix is said to have paid $100 million to continue licensing the NBC hit series “Friends,” which is reportedly its second-most-watched show.
Apple TV Plus will be competing in the children’s programming space with new programming in partnership with the Sesame Street Workshop.
Some of the first shows that will be exclusive to Apple TV Plus include:
- Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’
- Oprah Winfrey’s documentary on “scourge and toll of sexual harassment in the workplace”
- Oprah Winfrey’s multi-part series on “on mental health issues across the globe”
- Kumail Nanjiani’s ‘Little America’
- Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell’s ‘The Morning Show’
- Alfre Woodard and Jason Momoa’s ‘See’
- JJ Abrams and Sara Bareilles’s ‘Little Voice’
- Sesame Street’s ‘Helpsters’