Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, launches today, taking on Netflix and Amazon, and pre-empting the launch of Disney Plus on 12 November.
To draw customers into the service, Apple is offering a number of enticements. Foremost among them is its offering of exclusive, original programming, much as Disney is also planning with its own platform. These include the likes of The Morning Show, a drama about a morning television programme starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, and the post-apocalyptic See from the creator of Peaky Blinders starring Jason Momoa – both of which have received mixed reviews. Apple is also promising a year’s free subscription to the service to anyone purchasing an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac, as well as a seven day free trial available to all.
The move comes amid a shifting of Apple’s business model. On 30 October, Apple announced its fourth quarter results, with the revelation that revenue from services reached an all-time high at $12.5bn. iPhone sales, meanwhile, dropped around 9.2% compared to last year.
“We concluded a groundbreaking fiscal 2019 with our highest Q4 revenue ever, fuelled by accelerating growth from Services, Wearables and iPad,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in a press release. As reported in the Guardian, he went on to say: “It was a very broad range of services that set new all-time records, from our payment services to the search ad business to Apple Music, Apple Care, the App Store and cloud services – almost every kind of service we’re in.”
Costing $4.99 per month in the US (undercutting Netflix at $10.99), the service is launching in over 100 countries. The Apple TV app is available beyond the company’s own ecosystem, being available on some Samsung smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, as well as online.