Apple TV Plus to launch Nov. 1 at $4.99 a month, with a free trial for Apple device owners


technology
Apple TV Plus to launch Nov. 1 at $4.99 a month, with a free trial for Apple device owners

CEO Tim Cook presents the pricing and launch date for Apple TV Plus on Tuesday. Apple

Apple TV Plus will launch Nov. 1 for $4.99 a month, and people who buy an iPhone, Mac or Apple TV get to watch for a year free. The details about Apple's planned subscription service for exclusive original  were revealed at Apple's flagship  Tuesday, which is expected to unveil its  and show off other Apple products and services. 

By comparison, Disney Plus, the highly anticipated streaming service from the entertainment giant, will launch Nov. 12 for $7 a month -- with a large library of movies and shows available immediately. Streaming services based on cable networks, like Showtime or HBO Now, usually range between $9 to $15 a month. Smaller, niche streaming services often are priced at about $5 or a couple bucks. 

And Netflix, the world's biggest subscription streaming service, prices its most popular plan at $13 a month in the US; it offers other tiers at $9 and $16 monthly rates.

Free trials are the industry standard: Most streaming video services offer introductory free periods for new members. But Apple's one-year free period for gadget owners is atypically long. But the tactic worked well for Apple Music -- Apple launched its music service with an extended, six-month free trial.  

While Apple has released trailers for four of its original shows so far -- including a new one for See, a -- Apple didn't specify exactly how many titles will be available at launch on Apple TV Plus. Apple CEO Tim Cook touted three other Apple original shows Tuesday: The Morning Show, a drama about a morning news broadcast starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell; Dickinson, a comedy about poet Emily Dickinson starring Hailee Steinfeld; and For All Mankind, a period piece from the creator of Battlestar Galactica that presents an alternative history of the space race. 

Reese Witherspoon in the trailer for The Morning Show

Though Cook didn't specifically call them out, a presentation screen behind him on stage listed other originals that Apple is producing, including: a thriller, Servant, from Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan; Hala, a movie produced by Jada Pinkett Smith that Apple picked up at Sundance; animated series Snoopy in Space; a Sesame Street spinoff series called Helpsters; and The Elephant Queen, a movie the company acquired at the Toronto Film Festival.

"All of these incredible shows for the price of a single movie rental," Cook said. "This is crazy."

Apple is taking aim at original video with Apple TV Plus because it could be a crucial enticement for people to buy more iPhones and other gadgets. The iPhone has been Apple's cash cow for year, and it still accounts for half its sales. But those sales are slowing as people hedge away from buying new phones with eye-popping price tags every year. Partly in response to slowing iPhone sales, Apple has set a deadline to double its services revenue to $50 billion before 2021 -- and Apple TV Plus could be crucial to that goal.  

In March, Apple officially announced its concept for a Netflix-like subscription TV service at a star-studded event. But the company held back on the main details that potential subscribers needed to know about Apple TV Plus, like what day it would launch, what content would be available to stream and, crucially, how much it will cost. 

The company previously had specified that Apple TV Plus won't have ads and will be available in more than 100 countries. It will also be part of Apple's family sharing feature, which allows you and up to five family members to share a plan. Apple TV Plus will also live inside the company's TV app. There, Apple TV Plus will sit next to other video subscriptions such as   or Starz. (But not .) 

Celebrities show off their new series on Apple TV Plus

By: CNET

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