Apple Reveals Name, Launch Date of New Ad-Free Streaming Service – But No Price

Hollywood heavy-hitters show up in Cupertino for Monday event

Tim Cook Apple TV
Michael Short/Getty Images

Hollywood headed to Cupertino, California on Monday to learn some long-awaited details about Apple’s new streaming service, including its name and when it will launch.

The much-anticipated platform is called Apple TV+ and it will debut as an ad-free streaming service this fall, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced from the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater during the big Apple event. The price of the service was not revealed.

The tech giant’s chief said Apple TV+ will feature Apple original series, be available in over 100 countries and accessible via the Apple TV app.

Apple used the “show time” event as an opportunity to bring out some of the big talent behind the almost two dozen series that have been ordered for the streaming service to preview their programs, including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, Kumail Nanjiani, Big Bird, J.J. Abrams, and Sara Bareilles. Oh, and Oprah Winfrey, too.

“We’re honored that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

Before revealing those limited details about Apple TV+, Cook and his team laid out the company’s plans for the new Apple TV app and the debut of Apple TV Channels.

Here’s the description for the updated app and the new channels feature, per Apple:

The all-new Apple TV app brings together the different ways to discover and watch shows, movies, sports, news and more in one app across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs and streaming devices. Users can subscribe to and watch new Apple TV channels — paying for only services they want, like HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz — all on demand, available on and offline, with incredible picture quality and sound; enjoy sports, news and network TV from cable and satellite providers as well as purchase or rent iTunes movies and TV shows all within the new, personalized Apple TV app. Beginning in May, customers can subscribe to Apple TV channels à la carte and watch them in the Apple TV app, with no additional apps, accounts or passwords required. Apple TV channels include popular services such as HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and new services like MTV Hits, with more to be added over time around the world. The new Apple TV app personalizes what viewers love to watch across their existing apps and services while developing a secure and comprehensive understanding of users’ viewing interests. The app will offer suggestions for shows and movies from over 150 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as pay-TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DirecTV NOW and PlayStation Vue. Optimum and Suddenlink from Altice will be added later this year. Additionally, the Apple TV app will become the new home to the hundreds of thousands of movies and TV shows currently available for purchase or rent in the iTunes Store.

Earlier in the presentation, Cook and company revealed plans for Apple News+, its new $9.99-per-month magazine subscription service. You can read more about that here.

Apple TV+ will be met with a growing number of competitors as it looks to make a presence in the over-the-top (OTT) space.

In addition to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, Apple’s new platform will also be going up against the yet-to-be-named service from AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Disney+, both of which are expected to launch later this year.