Everything We Know About Apple TV+ So Far

A bag of popcorn spilling onto an iPhone with the TV+ logo.
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Apple plans to launch its new streaming service, Apple TV+, in November of this year. But what’s special about TV+, how much does it cost, and why is Apple trying to join the streaming war in 2019?

TV+ Will Be an Extension of the TV App

An Apple TV displaying a variety of streaming service options
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The Apple TV app (and the company’s streaming boxes) are honestly wonderful. They have a clean interface, and they provide access to a variety of streaming services. You can even subscribe to services like HBO through the Apple TV app.

So it’s no surprise that TV+ will be an extension of the Apple TV app. In practice, this may look like Amazon’s Fire TV homepage, where you get to see popular offerings from Prime TV mixed with the launch apps for other streaming services.

One thing we know for sure is that TV+ will be ad-free. That’s been one of Apple’s selling points since the service was announced on March 2019. Although the lack of ads may make it difficult for Apple to turn a quick profit on TV+, considering how much the company is paying for its new shows.

Apple’s Already Spent $6 Billion on Its Unproven Shows

A screengrab from The Morning Show. Steve Carell looks disgusted.
Apple

You know how Game of Thrones is the most expensive TV show ever made? Each episode of Game of Thrones’ final season cost HBO $15 million—a budget that was allotted due to the show’s popularity and profitability.

But what if HBO dropped $15 million on a brand new, totally unproven show? Well, that’s exactly what Apple’s doing with one of its new serials. The company is reportedly spending $300 million to produce 20 episodes of The Morning Show, a comedy-drama starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon.

Apple is dropping a total of $6 billion on its 40 new shows and movies. Some of these shows, like For All Mankind, The Morning Show, and Peanuts in Space, are set to debut this year. Others, including Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, a show based on the novel Pachinko, and a period comedy about Emily Dickinson (yes, that Emily Dickinson) will come out in either late 2019 or early 2020.

You can view the full list of Apple’s original TV shows and movies on Wikipedia.

It Will Cost $10 a Month (Probably)

The Apple Pay logo on a phone screen.
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As reported by Bloomberg, Apple TV+ will cost $10 a month. That puts the service in sort of a mid-range category—it will cost more than Disney+ ($7 a month) but less than Netflix’s Standard plan ($12 a month). As you’d expect, Apple will also offer a free month-long trial for TV+.

This sounds like a reasonable price for a streaming service, but again, Apple’s only announced 40 titles for TV+. Of those 40 titles, only five will be available in 2019 (barring the possibility of delays).

Do what you will with this information. Either Apple has some killer shows tucked in its pocket, or the company assumes that its fans will drop $10 a month for a very slim streaming library.

TV+ May Be on Non-Apple Devices

An Apple TV streaming box on a table
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Apple has a long history of launching products exclusively for its devices (iMessage, Aperture, and Logic Pro, to name a few). But there’s a chance that TV+ will find its way to some 3rd party platforms.

The Apple TV app (which hosts TV+) is set to come to platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire TV devices, and smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio this year. But Apple hasn’t confirmed whether or not TV+ will be available on non-Apple devices. We’re not sure why it wouldn’t be, seeing as the service is hosted on the Apple TV app, but we’ll have to wait and see what Apple says about the matter.

Why Is Apple Launching a Streaming Service in 2019?

Whether you think that TV+ will be a success or a failure, it’s hard to figure out why Apple is debuting a streaming service in 2019. In fact, why is the company launching it in November, the same month that Disney+ launches? Is Apple really trying to compete with the massive libraries of Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+?

Contrary to speculation, Apple’s goal isn’t to dominate the streaming market. Apple CEO Tim Cook made this clear at a recent earnings call, where he stated that people will subscribe to “multiple streaming services,” and that “Apple TV+ should be one of them.”

Not to mention, Apple already makes money off of other streaming services. The Apple TV app is home to a variety of streaming services (but not Netflix), and Apple gets a revenue cut every time someone subscribes to services like HBO through the Apple TV app.

It seems that Apple is merely participating in the world of streaming—the company isn’t really trying to beat out competing services. In a way, TV+ is like News+ and the Apple credit card; it’s a response to declining iPhone sales, and it may even drive sales of the Apple TV streaming box. Who knows? Apple may even offer TV+ discounts to Apple credit cardholders.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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