Back in March, Apple unveiled Apple TV+, a subscription television and film service featuring a slate of original content from Steven Spielberg, Sofia Coppola, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams, Ron Howard, M. Night Shyamalan, and other Hollywood hitmakers. Today, after months of anticipation, it revealed pricing and availability details.
Apple TV+ will cost $4.99 per month with a free seven-day trial when it launches worldwide on November 1. (Customers get one free year with the purchase of an Apple device starting September 10.) As previously promised, it’ll be advertising-free and available for both online and offline viewing across over 100 countries through the Apple TV app, which comes preinstalled on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and iPod touch and soon on Mac with macOS Catalina. 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.
Apple says that starting today, viewers can add Apple TV+ series and movies to Up Next on the Apple TV app so that they’re notified the minute the first episodes become available. At launch, most Apple TV+ series will premiere with three episodes, with one new episode to roll out each week, while full seasons of some series will be available all at once.
Apple TV+’s price tag is even-keeled with that of Apple Music and of the recently launched Apple News+, and it’s on par with those of rivals in the intensely competitive streaming entertainment segment. That includes Netflix ($12.99), Amazon Prime Video ($8.99 per month), and Hulu ($5.99 with commercials), as well as HBO Now ($14.99), Disney+ ($6.99), CBS All Access ($5.99 with commercials), Showtime ($10.99), and Starz ($8.99).
Shelling out for yet another subscription service might not sound terribly appealing to most people, but Apple’s betting its star-studded content lineup will persuade even the most frugal customers to fork over their hard-earned Hamiltons. It’s invested upwards of $6 billion in developing over 25 different TV shows and movies for Apple TV+, reportedly spending approximately $15 million an episode on some of its biggest shows. And in stark contrast to the competition, Apple has sought to keep all of its content “family-friendly” so that it can be displayed in its retail stores.
Among the headliners are:
- Talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s Toxic Labor, a documentary focused on sexual harassment in the workplace, and a second documentary focused on mental health.
- The Morning Show, a two-season drama about an aging TV morning show anchor starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell.
- A reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories.
- A sci-fi show called For All Mankind, created by Ronald D. Moore of Battlestar Galactica fame.
- An adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s book Foundation by superhero film producer David S. Goyer.
- A new comedy show from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia leads Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day.
- Little America, a series about American immigration from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon.
- On the Rocks, a Sofia Coppola-directed film starring Lost in Translation collaborator Bill Murray.
- Hala, a film about a Muslim teenager.
- An eponymous comedy about poet Emily Dickinson.
- A thriller from M. Night Shyamalan.
- A CIA drama with Brie Larson.
- The animated Central Park from Loren Bouchard of Bob’s Burgers.
- Snoopy and Charlie Brown content.
- Helpsters, a kids’ TV show developed in partnership between Apple and Sesame Workshop.
- Little Voice, a show that discusses singer Sara Bareilles’ experiences in New York City.
- See, a drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard set 600 years in the future, after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind.
- The Banker, a feature film inspired by a true story, starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas.