The service costs $5.99 per month, making it not only the cheapest of the existing major streaming platforms, but lower priced than fellow newcomer Disney+.
As if there wasn’t enough to watch on TV already, Apple is throwing its hat into the streaming wars this fall, with a roster of original programs it hopes will lure viewers away from Netflix and other competitors.
Apple TV Plus has marked Nov. 1 as the Canadian launch date for a selection of celebrity-stacked TV shows, movies, and documentaries, kicking off what’s expected to be a heated battle for subscribers.
The service costs $5.99 per month, making it not only the cheapest of the existing major streaming platforms, but lower priced than fellow newcomer Disney+, which is scheduled to launch slightly over a week later on Nov. 12.
Apple will debut with only a small selection of original TV shows, including the Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston drama “The Morning Show,” and the Emily Dickinson biopic series “Dickinson,” among others.
Access to Apple TV Plus will be available through its Apple TV app on the company’s iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and iPod Touch devices. It’ll also be watchable on select Samsung smart TVs, with rollouts on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony, and VIZIO to come, the company said.
While Apple’s arrival beats Disney to the market, it’ll face a considerable challenge in the package of Pixar, Marvel, and Disney classics boasted by Disney+, which has a deep library of family-oriented programming on its side.
Disney also plans to dig into its many valuable franchises for several projects that include a TV series that expands on the Star Wars universe.
Apple TV Plus has a price advantage working in its favor, however, since it’ll be three dollars cheaper than Disney+’s $8.99 monthly price tag in Canada.
There’s also an incentive for Apple customers to buy more products from the company. Anyone who purchases a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac will receive one year of Apple TV Plus for free, the company said.
Other streaming platforms have spent years preparing for the inevitable entry of Apple and Disney into the streaming marketplace.
Netflix inked huge deals with some of Hollywood’s biggest TV producers, including “American Horror Story” co-creator Ryan Murphy and “Grey’s Anatomy” scribe Shonda Rhimes, who are now making programs for the company.
And Bell Media’s Crave has an agreement with HBO to carry most of its high-profile new programs, which include the debut of hyped comic book series “The Watchmen,” Helen Mirren in “Catherine the Great,” and the return of favorites such as “Westworld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Other big-budget projects are lined up at Amazon Prime Video and CBC Gem, which has acquired the rights to popular international TV series and some of Hulu’s critically acclaimed programs.