Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
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Apple this week launched its much-anticipated Apple TV+ streaming service at a star-studded event at its Californian headquarters in Cupertino.

The US tech giant ended months of speculation by confirming that its video subscription service will feature a new slate of programming and will appear in a new Apple TV app alongside channels from partners like HBO, Showtime and Starz.

The Apple TV+ streaming service will be available from this autumn, with Apple promising exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries from “the wold’s most creative storytellers.” Pricing is due to be announced closer to launch.

The new Apple TV App will be available on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV in more than 100 countries from May. The app will also launch on Samsung smart TVs this spring, will be available on Mac from the autumn and is due to roll out on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms “in the future”.

Channels partners also include CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade and Noggin with Apple promising more will be added over time around the world. Viewers will be able to pay for the partner channels they want on an a la carte basis, and will also be able to use the app to access iTunes movies and TV shows.

The new app is built to offer a personalised experience based on viewing across existing apps and services. It will offer suggestions for shows and movies from more than 150 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu and pay TV services like Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DirecTV Now, and Playstation Vue. Netflix previously ruled itself out of being part of the offering.

On the Apple TV+ content front, programming will appear from talent including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan and Jon M. Chu

“We’re honoured that the absolute best line-up of storytellers in the world – both in front of and behind the camera – are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services.

“We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this fall. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”

In a research note ahead of the launch, Futuresource Consulting predicted that Apple’s SVOD service would play a key role in the evolution of the market in 2019, particularly in the US. However it added: “We don’t expect the service to impact the growth of the leading players, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video”.

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