Apple TV+ confirms November launch, pricing and release strategy

Apple has confirmed launch plans and pricing for its streaming service, with a monthly fee that is wildly below the reported $9.99 per month sub price.

The long-awaited Apple TV+ is to debut 1 November in more than 100 countries, priced at $4.99 a month, following a seven-day free trial. The tech giant confirmed details at a media event in Cupertino on Tuesday (9 September).

The $4.99 fee is half the $9.99 per month sub that was initially expected from Apple TV+. The confirmed pricing puts the service well below its SVOD rivals Disney ($6.99) and Netflix (up to $8.99 to 15.99). The tech giant is believed to have an originals spend of more than $6bn for both series and films.

Thus far, the service will not have any licensed content, instead opting to offer quick access to third-party apps from the likes of CBS All Access and Starz for additional fees. As demonstrated by the business’s initial preview in April, Apple is banking on the A-list star power behind some of its originals as the primary draw for Apple TV+.

The platform – which will be available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch and Macs – will launch with a slate of original shows, films and documentaries, with Apple highlighting Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston’s The Morning Show, as well as Dickinson, See, For All Mankind, The Elephant Queen, Helpsters, Snoopy In Space, Ghostwriter and projects from Oprah Winfrey.

Other originals set to launch in subsequent months include Servant, Truth Be Told, Little America, The Banker and Hala.

Crucially, Apple has said that, at launch, most originals will premiere with just three episodes, followed by a weekly release strategy that sees one new episode rolling out each week. However, some full seasons of select shows will be available all at once.

Purchase of any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch or Mac gives customers a free subscription for one year.

Zack Van Amburg, head of Worldwide Video for Apple, said: “With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favorite show or movie on our service. Each Apple TV+ original offers its own unique story, fresh perspective and powerful message — all meant to entertain, connect and inspire cultural conversations.”

Jamie Erlicht, head of Worldwide Video for Apple, added: “Apple TV+ is an unprecedented global video service with an all-original slate. We look forward to giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to enjoy these compelling stories within a rich, personalised experience on all the screens they love.”

Originals for the streamer are as follows (all descriptions provided by Apple):

The Morning Show

The Morning Show

A cutthroat drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and starring Steve Carell, explores the world of morning news and the ego, ambition and the misguided search for power behind the people who help America wake up in the morning

See

An epic drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.

Dickinson

A darkly comedic coming-of-age story, explores the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.

For All Mankind

A new series from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centerpiece of America’s hopes and dreams.

Helpsters

A new children’s series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.

Snoopy in Space

A new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.

Ghostwriter

A reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighborhood bookstore, and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.

Helpsters

The Elephant Queen

An acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.

Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey joins the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.

Servant

A new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.

Truth Be Told

A gripping new series starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul, explores America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.

Little America

Inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, brings to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.

The Banker

A feature film inspired by a true story, stars 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. Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult also star.

Hala

A feature film and official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.

Tags: Apple, scripted, SVOD