Hoping to elbow its way into a crowded and increasingly pricey streaming video marketplace, Apple TV+ will launch on November 1, for the relatively low price of $4.99 per month per family.
The price tag includes a seven-day free trial and can include up to six family members. Apple will also offer a free year of the Apple TV+ family plan to any customer who buys an Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV set-top box.
CEO Tim Cook announced the company’s new streaming services Tuesday at the Apple Event at the company headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Apple TV+ will launch in over 100 countries with a small collection of originals that it hopes will be prestige programming. At launch, the programming will include The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carell in a behind-the-scenes drama about morning television. Jason Momoa will star in a dystopian epic called See, and Hailee Steinfeld will play poet Emily Dickinson in a dark comedy series. Cook promised more original programming every month but offered no details on whether that includes any preexisting movies or series. Apple TV+ will be ad-free and available on demand on popular streaming devices.
Apple is using all its available tools to convince consumers at least to try one more streaming service and fit it into their viewing rotation along with streaming leaders Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Disney is also launching in November—with its huge, well-known back catalog of movies, series and cartoons—with monthly fees starting at $7. HBO Max, Comcast, and Quibi are expected to launch streaming services next April.
The task for Apple TV+ right now is to ramp up its subscriber numbers to be competitive with existing services. Netflix currently has about 150 million subscribers worldwide, according to its second-quarter earnings report. The company failed to add its projected number of new subscribers, and some subscribers have left the service. The reason for their departure could be the latest price increase, raising the cost of the service to $13.99 per month per household. Some onlookers say that if Apple gives away subscriptions with new product purchases, it could easily catch up to Netflix—and even significantly pass them when it comes to raw subscriber numbers.