Apple said its TV+ original video subscription service will launch on 1 November for US$4.99/month, undercutting the price of rival offerings.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant made the announcement at a Tuesday event focused on new versions of the iPhone. The service will be free for one year with purchases of new Apple devices, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on stage.
The TV+ service is entering a crowded field that already includes Netflix, Amazon.com, Hulu and AT&T’s HBO. In November, Walt Disney plans to launch a Disney+ streaming service, with a giant catalog of titles, for $6.99/month. Netflix’s entry-level subscription is $8.99/month in the US.
Netflix and Disney shares fell after the announcement on Tuesday, while Apple stock climbed.
Apple is pushing into services to generate extra revenue from its large base of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch users. Consumers have been slower to replace hardware recently due to higher prices, market saturation, economic headwinds and a lack of new, breakthrough features.
Apple’s TV+ service, first previewed in March with Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and other stars, will lack a large back catalogue and instead focus on original movies and TV shows. Still, some analysts have suggested Apple TV+ could top 100 million subscribers in the next half-decade, which would make it a major challenger to Netflix and Amazon.
Apple’s pricing undercuts the cost of its other digital services, such as Apple Music and Apple News+.
Apple TV+ will launch with a slew of titles, Apple said, including Dickinson and The Morning Show. At its event, Apple showed a trailer for See with Jason Momoa.
The service is available in the TV app that is pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, Apple TVs, and soon Macs. It will integrate with the Apple TV Channels service, which lets users subscribe to other providers like HBO, Starz and Showtime individually. — Reported by Mark Gurman, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP