Apple Announces New Streaming TV Service, First Wave of Content Revealed

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Apple News Plus, the news subscription service, will include such major papers as The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

The iPhone maker revealed its new Apple TV Plus video streaming service at a star-studded event in Cupertino, Calif., that included Hollywood A-listers like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston and Oprah. Streaming video, by contrast, is dominated by huge services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, with more seeming to be bowing into the competition daily, including AT&T's WarnerMedia, Disney and Comcast. Apple's offering will stream in more than 100 countries and launch in the fall.

Apple's new TV and movie steaming service goes by the name Apple TV+ and it will be home to a wide selection of original Apple content. The Apple TV app will also be added to smart TVs for the first time.

It will be "the destination for the highest quality originals" Jamie Erlicht, who co-leads Apple's original content team, said at an event Monday.

On the Apple TV app, subscribers will enjoy inspiring and authentic stories with emotional depth and compelling characters from all walks of life, ad-free and on demand.

Apple TV no longer will be limited to iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs, as the company plans to release the video service for Macs and smart TVs later this year. Launching in May, the service will offer one-click subscriptions to premium subscription channels, including CBS All Access, HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Apple will charge $9.99 per month to gain access to this and it is available to USA and Canada first. The company did not announce any pricing. But, instead of having to jump to different apps to watch specific shows, users will be able to watch it all from within the TV app.

The common thread is an expansion of Apple's services business, moving the company further beyond software and hardware, and a focus on privacy as a competitive advantage against Google, Facebook and other companies that rely on advertising revenue to fuel their businesses. The difference here is that Apple can be confident of selling millions of each device it launches, but a streaming TV service is much more risky. Apple wants to compete directly with Amazon, and to a lesser extent Netflix.

We have the Apple TV+ announcement video to check out below from the Apple YouTube channel, as well as the trailer for numerous upcoming shows.

Apple's reputation for delivering reliable streaming services has not been great.

Apple said advertisers won't track readers inside the app.

Alongside video, the news and magazine service is expected to include around 200 magazines, with a $9.99 per month subscription required to access them all.