This afternoon, Apple held a special event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. While these events typically announce new Apple products, this one focused on the services Apple provides — including Apple’s new streaming service.
The event opened with an animated, Hollywood-inspired credit sequence that set the scene and was really extra (But this is Apple, so what do you expect?).
The big news of the day was Apple TV Plus, Apple’s new platform for original content. The ad-free subscription service will be available this fall, with original shows and movies added each month.
Apple brought out multiple celebrities to announce the service and its content — including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Anniston, JJ Abrams, Jason Momoa, Big Bird, and Oprah (truly, the famous people just. kept. coming.).
Most of the featured shows had been previously announced, but the cast members and directors shared a bit more about each project. Some of the new content includes:
- The Morning Show, a series starring Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carrell;
- See, a series about a post-apocalyptic world starring Momoa and Alfre Woodard;
- Little America, a docu-series focusing on American immigrants’ stories, produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Epic Magazine;
- A new, coding-focused preschool show from Sesame Workshop;
- Little Voice, a new musical series from JJ Abrams and Sara Bareilles (who performed the show’s theme song at the event); and
- Two new documentaries from Oprah, as well as a livestream book club during which Oprah will converse with authors.
Apple TV Plus will be available as part of the Apple TV app in more than 100 countries, and all the content will be downloadable. One detail Apple didn’t share yet, however, is the subscription fee.
This May, Apple will also redesign its Apple TV app, introducing a new “Apple TV Channels” service. Users will be able to choose which channels they want to pay for and can link their existing cable service and/or streaming subscriptions to the app (except for Netflix …). The idea is that all of your shows and movies will be aggregated in one place on your Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, and — starting this fall — Macbook. The new Apple TV app will also be available on smart TVs, Roku, and Amazon’s Fire Stick.
Another big announcement was Apple Arcade, a new subscription gaming service for “games that redefine games.” The service will provide a platform specifically for innovative video games, including Beyond a Steel Sky, Where Cards Fall, Fantasian, and Overland. The service will provide access to more than 100 exclusive games, which users can play offline and across all Apple devices, via the App Store.
Other announcements included the addition of magazines to the Apple News app via a service called Apple News Plus and the expansion of Apple Pay to include an Apple credit card.