Apple debuts Apple TV+ and Apple TV Channels for cord-cutters, integrated into TV app

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2019
At the company's March special event, Apple has revealed its much-awaited Apple TV Channels streaming video service, coupled with an updated Apple TV app, making that available across the entire range of Apple devices including the Mac. Apple TV Channels will begin in May.




Apple's new Apple TV app is an evolution of the "a la carte" model, with Apple promising you can only pay for what you want, watch it in one app, online or off, with family sharing enabled from the start. Apple TV Channels will center on a redesigned Apple TV app which will launch in May for iOS and Apple TV. For the first time, an Apple TV app will also come to the Mac, though that won't be launching until the Fall.

No pricing was announced for Apple TV Channels, but Apple has confirmed that subscriptions to it and Apple TV+ will be available to use via Family Sharing.

How the revamped app will look on Apple TV
How the revamped app will look on Apple TV


Tim Cook said that Apple has been bringing us TV for over a decade. "We've done it because we love TV," he said. "TV is more than entertainment, it's cultural. TV at its best enriches our lives and we can share it with people we love."

"With so many choices, however, sometimes it's hard to know where to start. That's why we created the Apple TV app. So you can spend less time looking for something to watch and more time enjoying it."

Cook brought up Peter Stern, Apple Vice President of Services, to detail the new service which described as a new way of watching TV. "A new TV experience where you only pay for the channels you want," said Stern. "All in one app. With the password you already have. Watch everything on demand and ad-free. Download your shows to take with you anywhere. Enjoy the highest quality picture and sound available. This is how TV should work. Now it does, with Apple TV Channels."

Stern announced that the newly redesigned Apple TV is coming to the Mac "this fall." It will also be added to smart TVs including Roku.

Currently the Apple TV app is available in 10 countries, said Stern. "We're bringing the experience to over countries," he concluded.

Apple TV+

As well as introducing updated app bringing in current services, Apple also introduced its new programming under the name Apple TV+.

Cindy Lin, director of program management, demonstrates the new Apple TV app
Cindy Lin, director of program management, demonstrates the new Apple TV app

Apple's long history of video

The new streaming service is far from the first time Apple has either used video or charged us for it. The company famously kick-started video on the internet with its QuickTime software and 1999's debut of Trailer B for "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" online.

The success of that trailer was such that Steve Jobs described it at the time as being the world's biggest-ever download. It was also sufficiently high quality and sufficiently popular that to do this day, Apple has a Movie Trailers site which regularly debuts new promo videos.

That popularity with both the public and the movie producers must've helped when Apple wanted to add video to the iTunes Store.

Initially, video was available in iTunes from early 2005, but only as a way to include bonus "Making Of" along with purchases of certain albums. When iTunes 6 was announced in October 2005, it officially added the ability to buy video items.

At launch, the videos totalled six Pixar shorts, around 2,000 music videos and videos from assorted Disney television series such as "Desperate Housewives."

"We're doing for video what we've done for music-- we're making it easy and affordable to purchase and download, play on your computer, and take with you on your iPod," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.

That reference to music was quite deliberate. By this time in 2005, iTunes had transformed the music industry and shown record labels that people were keen to buy downloadable music.

Steve Jobs was telling the industry that this is how film and television video sales would go too, and he was right. By 2012, Apple was providing approximately half of all the online sales or rentals of movies.

That didn't last, however, as by 2017 AppleInsider was reporting that streaming video from rival firms was biting into Apple's market share. Plus, even in late 2017, there was news of Disney entering the streaming market too.

Disney is launching its own streaming service
Disney is launching its own streaming service


In 2019, Disney's offering looks to become even more of a competitor, too, as the company recently spent $70 billion acquiring 21st Century Fox and its library of material.

The new service from Apple is officially its first time streaming videos and its first time making an entire slate of programming. It's true that its reported $1 billion worth of new shows represent its greatest investment in video, but Apple has made shows before.

Throughout its history, it has made videos about its products, but it's also tried making programmes such as the hit "Carpool Karaoke" which it derived from a repeating segment of "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

It also had the flop "Planet of the Apps" series.

Apple has also been streaming video before. While in theory when you buy or rent video from Apple's Store, it downloads to your device, that is not always the case. When Apple added 4K-resolution movies, it admitted that it was solely streaming them, not making them available to download.

Then, of course, Apple is now well-versed in how to stream its event presentations -- including the March 25 one -- where very many people watched online. Enough people watch that streaming successfully is not straightforward. Apple famously had severe problems with its streaming of the company's September 2014 keynote and was roundly mocked for it by Samsung.

As high as the viewing figures for these events must be, they're unlikely to be a fraction of what Apple will hope for with the general public watching its new video streaming service.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,441member
    Pass. I barely watch any TV as it is. If it weren't for my wife's penchant for NCIS CSI-Whatever, and HGTV, I would have cut the cord ages ago.
    Metriacanthosaurushmurchison
  • Reply 2 of 50
    Kind of 'meh' so far. It's really not obvious what's new or different. Not having Netflix, or cable behemoths like Xfinity or Charter, are a problem for me.
    muthuk_vanalingamboltsfan17
  • Reply 3 of 50
    jumejume Posts: 206member
    I am so confused what ATV really is  :/
    anantksundaramdesignr
  • Reply 4 of 50
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,210member
    DAalseth said:
    Pass. I barely watch any TV as it is. If it weren't for my wife's penchant for NCIS CSI-Whatever, and HGTV, I would have cut the cord ages ago.
    https://www.theonion.com/area-man-constantly-mentioning-he-doesnt-own-a-televisi-1819565469
    DAalsethpscooter63firelockronnmf2kstompyStrangeDaysIreneWAppleZuluElJeffe
  • Reply 5 of 50
    What's with all the random celebrities scattered across the audience? What role do/did they perform?!

    If they're just there as eye-candy, that's rather un-Appleish.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    I’m currently streaming the event.

    Talk about a slow reveal... and boring.

    It’s a good thing we have AI summarize the event.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    BrianJBrianJ Posts: 6unconfirmed, member
    What's with all the random celebrities scattered across the audience? What role do/did they perform?!

    If they're just there as eye-candy, that's rather un-Appleish.
    It's the 'new' apple.  They are not the same company they once were.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    BrianJBrianJ Posts: 6unconfirmed, member

    Kind of 'meh' so far. It's really not obvious what's new or different. Not having Netflix, or cable behemoths like Xfinity or Charter, are a problem for me.
    Yeah, the AppleTV+ thing seems to be interesting, but we'll see how well it actually comes about.  If they can find a way to allow people to actually affordably watch ala-carte and pay when they want to versus a huge monthly cable bill, well, then maybe we've got something.
    ElJeffewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 50
    riverkoriverko Posts: 117member
    What's with all the random celebrities scattered across the audience? What role do/did they perform?!

    If they're just there as eye-candy, that's rather un-Appleish.
    They are part of Apple now, as you could see just a bit later... it was obvious that it will be kind of about them
    bakedbananasStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 50
    riverko said:
    What's with all the random celebrities scattered across the audience? What role do/did they perform?!

    If they're just there as eye-candy, that's rather un-Appleish.
    They are part of Apple now, as you could see just a bit later... it was obvious that it will be kind of about them
    Yeah, I see now... s.l.o.w.r.e.v.e.a.l is right....
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 11 of 50
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    DAalseth said:
    Pass. I barely watch any TV as it is. If it weren't for my wife's penchant for NCIS CSI-Whatever, and HGTV, I would have cut the cord ages ago.
    https://www.theonion.com/area-man-constantly-mentioning-he-doesnt-own-a-televisi-1819565469
    I own a TV, but it’s a living room prop and connects to nothing.  

    If I want to watch commercials all day, they’re available on YouTube...

    I just found out the Hallmark Channel was a real thing...  I thought they made overpriced cards.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,246member
    Kind of 'meh' so far. It's really not obvious what's new or different. Not having Netflix, or cable behemoths like Xfinity or Charter, are a problem for me.
    This has been extremely 'meh' so far. It would be nice if they actually showed trailers of these shows instead of the actors on stage talking about them. 
    macplusplus
  • Reply 13 of 50
    microbemicrobe Posts: 49member
    Not a single mainstream cable or broadcast network broke down and joined the a la carte model. Damn. (Premium movie channels always were a la carte).  
  • Reply 14 of 50
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    If they don’t offer separate profiles for who’s watching on the Apple TV then kids are in for a few surprises when it offers what to watch next based on dads viewing patterns. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 15 of 50
    microbe said:
    Not a single mainstream cable or broadcast network broke down and joined the a la carte model. Damn. (Premium movie channels always were a la carte).  
    In fact, unless I missed it, I didn't notice ABC there in the list (CBS was): isn't their CEO Iger on Apple's board? WTF?!

    I think I can quite comfortably say that this is the single WORST Apple event I've seen. Embarrassing and cringe-worthy, really.
    edited March 2019
  • Reply 16 of 50
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    Some added thoughts on Apple TV+ 

    My wish list:
    Easy switching the watching profile between viewers in the family
    Apple a consolidated view of viewing habits when watching together. Restricted profiles for the kids.
    Access to these profiles in the Apple TV app, at least for the Apple TV device.

  • Reply 17 of 50
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,603member
    Kind of 'meh' so far. It's really not obvious what's new or different. Not having Netflix, or cable behemoths like Xfinity or Charter, are a problem for me.
    This has been extremely 'meh' so far. It would be nice if they actually showed trailers of these shows instead of the actors on stage talking about them. 
    probably don't have much shot yet. 
    bakedbananas
  • Reply 18 of 50
    jume said:
    I am so confused what ATV really is  :/
    So is Apple.
    hmurchisondesignr
  • Reply 19 of 50

    Kind of 'meh' so far. It's really not obvious what's new or different. Not having Netflix, or cable behemoths like Xfinity or Charter, are a problem for me.
    But this is the new Apple. Absolutely nothing is new. They'll just call it new, give it a name, and charge you more for it than you ever paid before.
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 20 of 50
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,246member
    asdasd said:
    Kind of 'meh' so far. It's really not obvious what's new or different. Not having Netflix, or cable behemoths like Xfinity or Charter, are a problem for me.
    This has been extremely 'meh' so far. It would be nice if they actually showed trailers of these shows instead of the actors on stage talking about them. 
    probably don't have much shot yet. 
    Maybe but kind of silly to have an announcement for a new service that's one big tease. 
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