Early this morning, Apple made its big March announcement and wouldn’t ya know it, most of the rumours were spot on. There was a credit card, along with gaming, news, and TV subscription services.
Here’s the lowdown on both the news and TV services.
This is the anticipated news service combining magazine and premium digital subscriptions from a huge variety of publishers for one monthly fee. Apple claims it uses “on-device” technology to recommend articles to you without tracking what you read. Further to that point, the company also says it won’t allow advertisers to track you.
The number of publications on board is frankly staggering and includes National Geographic, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, O, The Oprah Magazine, People, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Runner’s World, Sports Illustrated, TIME, and tons more.
You’ll be able to get News+ with family sharing at no extra cost, meaning your entire household can get on board for just one subscription fee of US $9.99 per month. It’s available today in the US via the latest iOS and MacOS updates, but will be available in the UK and Australia “later this year”. No pricing for us has been revealed just yet, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’ll be around the $15 mark.
Yep, they’ve gone and bloody done it. The new Apple TV aims to be the home for just about anything you wanna watch, while Apple TV+ will include original features from some of the biggest names in the business. Folks like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, M. Night Shyamalan, Jennifer Anniston, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, and more will either be creating or starring in all new exclusive originals.
In terms of big-name shows, Anniston and Reece Witherspoon are doing a morning show called The Morning Show. Appropriately named, I guess. Momoa will star in a post-apocalyptic fantasy epic called See, the Sesame Street Workshop will have a show for kids called Helpsters, J.J. Abrams is doing a show about being a musical songwriter in New York, Shyamalan is doing something that hasn’t been named yet, and fuck, there’s just so much more.
Pricing for the service will be announced later in our spring, but it’s expected to be available in more than 100 countries. The company also announced a new Apple TV app which combines pretty much every streaming service available and puts them in one place. Here, you’ll be able to choose what you wanna pay for, on a channel by channel basis.
Like Netflix, I’d wager that third-party programming from companies like HBO and Showtime will be limited here in Australia due to licensing restrictions. Most notably, Foxtel still owns the rights to Game of Thrones, but I reckon they’ll loosen their grip once the series wraps up this year.
If Apple can successfully bundle everything into one service, it’ll certainly give it an edge. All content will be downloadable and available offline. The Apple TV app will also be made available on a number of smart TVs from a huge number of brands.
If you’d like to see some of the previews, you can suss them out in the video below.
The company also announced its own credit card, Apple Card, which has an emphasis on privacy and its mobile gaming subscription, Apple Arcade, which we’ll cover in its own article a little later, so keep an eye out for that.