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Apple jumps into subscription video fray with “TV Channels”

Apple jumps into subscription video fray with “TV Channels”
[Screenshot: Apple]

Apple announced a major new service on Monday–a subscription video service called Apple TV Channels. The service’s content comprises original Apple video content along with subscriptions for channels like HBO, Starz, and others.

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Tim Cook said Apple wants to bring users’ shows, movies, sports, and news together in one place, and make it available on all their devices.

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.

Available subscriptions include HBO, Starz, Showtime, CBS, Cinemax, and others. When the user wants to sign up for a new service, they just hit a button, sign up with two clicks, and immediately watch that channel. Apple will split the revenue from subscriptions with its content partners.

In the new app, which will show up in May, a Watch tab will includes movie and show suggestions chosen for the user by Apple’s human curators. The App also organizes content from satellite and cable subscriptions as well as video purchases from iTunes.

As Apple sees its smartphone business growth slowing down, the company is shifting its focus to generating revenue from the massive 1.4-million-strong user base of iOS device users. The video from the new service will stream to iPhones, iPads, and to the Apple TV box.

Apple made the announcements at a press event at the Steve Jobs Theater located near the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

Apple is also bringing the new subscriptions app to Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs. The app will also be available on Roku streaming devices and even Amazon’s Fire TV device. The service will come to the Mac platform this fall, Apple said.

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