Apple Announces First Details Of Streaming Service Apple TV+
This evening, Apple held a special keynote event which announced a number of new services. That included more details about their upcoming streaming service, Apple TV+, which will launch in 100+ countries, including the UK, in the Autumn.
Whilst we’d had some news of the new “Apple Original” shows (more on those below) which will be the service, what hadn’t been made clear was how people will access them. They have now revealed that they are expanding an all-new release of the Apple TV app. It will, of course, be available on the Apple TV box, iPhone and iPad with a free software update this May, but is now also coming to the Mac for the first time in the Autumn. Additionally, the app will be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring with Sony, LG and VIZIO being added later. Interestingly, it is also coming to the Amazon Fire Stick and Roku boxes as well.
The updated app will add additional features, such as being able to pause watching and pick up shows across devices (much like Sky Q). It will also recommend shows to you based on your viewing habits (much like Netflix)… So good, but nothing really new. Another new option is the addition of “channels”. So if you subscribe to other services such as Amazon Prime or Hulu (in the US), you don’t have to switch apps to watch shows from them. They are also integrating pay-TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue for US customers. No announcements on how this will work or what services will be accessible outside of the US yet though.
The changes to Apple TV are basically laying the groundwork for the launch of the new Apple Original shows worldwide. This will be tv series coming from world’s most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more.
At the event today, they highlighted 7 of the upcoming series:
From Steven Spielberg, the series is a reimagining of his classic the anthology which will transport the audience to worlds of wonder through the lens of today’s most imaginative filmmakers, directors and writers. ‘Once Upon a Time’ creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are set as showrunners.
The Morning Show
Executive produced by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, the series follows the behind the scenes of a US morning tv show. Steve Carell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass also star.
From ‘Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight and starring Jason Momoa, ‘See’ is an “epic, world-building drama” set in a future where humans have lost their sense of sight, and some even believe humans never had “sight” in the first place. This way of life is challenged when a set of twins are born with the ability to see. Momoa is set to take a lead role as Baba Voss, a fearless warrior, leader and guardian.
An anthology series from Kumail Nanjiani (‘Silicon Valley’, ‘The Big Sick’), which go beyond the headlines to look at the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and unexpected lives of immigrants in America, at a time when their stories are more relevant than ever.
A new children’s show from Sesame Workshop which uses the ideas behind coding to help preschoolers solve everyday problems. The series is presented by a new muppet named Cody.
A half-hour dramedy from Waitress The Musical creator Sara Bareilles & JJ Abrams, which is described as a love letter to the diverse musicality of New York which explores the universal journey of finding your authentic voice in your early 20s.
Oprah Documentaries and Book Club
Lastly, Oprah took to the stage to unveil two new documentaries she would be making for Apple TV+, along with a live-streamed Book Club. One doc will deal with sexual harassment titled ‘Toxic Labor’, whilst the other is a series “on mental health and how the scourge of depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress, addiction, trauma and loss is just devastating lives daily across the globe.”
On the Book Club, Oprah commented “for me, there is nothing more thrilling than being transported by a brilliant book. The only other thing more gratifying than an extraordinary read is being able to share that experience with others, and we’re going to do just that by building the biggest, the most vibrant, the most stimulating Book Club on the planet! Imagine where Apple stores stream a conversation with the author and me, live across all devices, across all borders, uniting people to stories that remind us that no matter who you are, or where you are from, every man, woman and child looks up in awe at the same stuff.”
No news yet on exactly when these shows will launch, although it is sounding like it will be Autumn 2019. We will keep you posted.