Apple is launching a new service called Apple TV Plus (which the company stylized as Apple TV+) with a focus on high-quality original shows. Everyone from Steven Spielberg and Reese Witherspoon to Jennifer Aniston and J.J. Abrams are on board. Here's what Apple revealed at its March 25 Show Time event and what we've learned since then about Apple TV+.
Apple TV Plus Release Date and Devices
Apple says Apple TV Plus will be launching this Fall in more than 100 countries. An August report from Bloomberg says that the service will launch in November, with a free trial initially available.
You'll be able to experience all of these shows via the Apple TV app. It's an ad-free subscription service, but the pricing is not yet officially known. In its report, Bloomberg says Apple's likely to charge $9.99 a month, which would be less than a standard Netflix subscription, but more than Disney is planning to charge for its upcoming service.
Apple TV+ will be on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, macOS. The Apple TV app will also arrive on smart TVs from Samsung and others, including streaming boxes and sticks from Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Top Shows So Far
While we've learned about a ton of Apple TV Plus shows and movies so far, the company chose to highlight a select few at its event. Steven Spielberg is bringing Amazing Stories back to TV. The rebooted anthology series from the 1980s combines sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Spielberg is serving as executive producer.
The Morning Show brings Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carrell together to explore issues of sex and power in the workplace, set behind the scenes at a Today-style morning news program. (Apple has released a couple of teaser trailers to promote this show.)
Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodward discussed See, a new show in which the Earth has been hit by a virus and the survivors are blind. The post-apocalyptic vibe definitely looks compelling.
Little America is inspired by immigrant stories in the U.S. and it's being headed by actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani. The writers and directors are either immigrants or children of immigrants. His hope is that we won't view immigrants as "the other."
Another big highlight featured director J.J. Abrams and singer Sara Bareilles promoting Little Voice, which is about a young woman who wants to "find her voice as an artist and a person," according to Bareilles. She gave us a taste by performing the theme song.
Oprah Winfrey will be involved with Apple TV+, too, creating documentaries for the service. The first two will look at sexual harassment in the workplace and mental health. Winfrey says hat Apple's new service will enable her to do something she hasn't done before and "connect with people around the world to create positive change."
A Focus on 'Enlightenment'
If you're looking for Black Mirror-style content and stuff that's super dark, it doesn't look like Apple TV+ is for you. The service is geared toward telling uplifting and enlightening stories, but there will certainly be conflict and drama based on the trailers shown.
We'll have more information on Apple TV+ as it becomes available.