Apple launches video service with subscription plan for magazines, newspapers

Apple finally enters TV streaming space with new Apple TV+ service

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To kick this new subscription service off, Apple invited top Hollywood talent from the likes of the famous director Steven Spielberg to actresses Reese Witherspoon & Jennifer Aniston to TV personalities and media moguls like Oprah Winfrey herself.

CEO Tim Cook and a roster of big-name celebrities announced the company's much-anticipated entrance into the crowded video-streaming market at a press event Monday afternoon inside the underground Steve Jobs theatre at its Cupertino, California, headquarters.

After years of rumors and speculation, it's finally real: Apple is launching its own competitor to Netflix.

Speaking about the service, Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said: "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+". The app will make its way to Samsung smart TVs this spring, and will land on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, as well as LG, Sony, and Vizio TVs "in the future". On-demand and ad-free, it's created to be enjoyed both online and offline. Viewers will be able to download content for offline viewing and access it on-demand.

Apple didn't announce a price for the streaming service or when it will launch. At present, it is only available on the Apple TV device, and on iOS devices. Apple is reportedly planning to take a 50/50 revenue cut from the news app.

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Apple News+ can be used as a family plan at no extra cost, Apple said, and each family member will receive customized recommendations based on their reading history.

The new TV channels subscription service will be organized and presented as a redesign of Apple's existing TV app-which already organizes video from partners-but now Apple will host the partner content so the user isn't sent out to another app to watch the content.

The design of the paid news app downplayed the publications behind individual articles. And Martin Garner of CCS Insights said the service so far lacks "the full range and diversity of content available through Netflix, Amazon and others". Everything on Apple TV Plus will be presented ad-free.

With Disney Corp now owning a massive slice of the movie and TV industry through their recent acquisitions, and its plans to launch Disney+ later this year in the United States (we can expect it to arrive locally next year), Apple's announcement conspicuously omitted the House of Mouse. The service is built on Texture, a digital magazine service Apple acquired back in 2018.

The new $9.99/month magazine subscription service, Apple News+, builds on the company's acquisition of the Texture digital subscription service past year.

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