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New Apple TV Plus is Set to Take on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Apple TV+

Apple just wrapped up its services event and boy did it flex its star power! Yeah, yeah we know Apple events are generally a big thing but this year’s ‘Show Time'(more like ‘Show-Off Time’) was, shall we say, a bit more celebrity-laden than usual. (Will spill the details later!)

Dropping the curtain on its most awaited service, Cook finally announced their video streaming service Apple TV Plus – an ad-free subscription home for the company’s new push into original content. But to me, it looks like Apple just declared war on Netflix and Amazon Prime!

A Star Studded Affair

Wondering what secrets Apple’s TV+ will unveil to the world? Well, we’ve heard a lot about Apple’s content buying spree over the last year or so. And here’s how it all panned out. An introductory video featuring big names like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Octavia Spencer was shown. Spielberg even made an appearance and chatted about Apple TV+ and the stories he can’t wait to tell.

Next up, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston showed up to talk about their new project ‘The Morning Show’, along with co-star Steve Carell. But the best part of the evening was when Jason Momoa – the handsome hunk of Aquaman fame – stepped on stage to talk about ‘See’ – the new sci-fi series he’s acting in. After that, Kumail Nanjiani discussed his experiences as an immigrant that will be a huge part of the series he’s working on with his wife for Apple named ‘Little America’.

Don’t worry, we’ve got good news for your kids too! After all, it is a family event!

Apple introduced a revamped kid section by trotting out Big Bird to talk up a new children’s show that teaches kids about coding. Just in case you were wondering, the show is called Helpsters. The last to take the stage was Sara Bareilles and JJ Abrams. Sara dropped in a musical number to mark the end of the celebrity relay before we finally saw the trailer featuring clips from all of Apple’s shiny new toys!

Show Time For Apple TV Plus, Apple TV App and Apple TV Channels

Noticeably missing from Apple’s ‘Show Time’ was the word on pricing. Well, that information is reserved for ‘Later this fall’, just like the launch of TV+. But, if Apple stays true to its word, we’ll be blessed with new content every month, after the launch of the service, of course.

Along with the unveiling of TV +, it was also the debut of a redesigned, more advanced Apple TV app and TV Channels for iOS.  The new TV app is up for grabs this May and will launch for Mac, select smart TVs like LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizo and surprise, surprise, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV devices. Interesting turn of events, isn’t it?

As for the new Channels section, it will allow us to pick and choose only, and I repeat, only third-party content we want to subscribe to. (So long cable operators! I gotta go live that fancy life!)

For some of us, the big [cable] bundle is more than we need, so we designed a new TV experience where you can pay for only the channels you want, all in one app, with the password you already have. This is how TV should work.” Said Peter Stern, Apple’s vice president of services. And we say amen to that!

Don’t worry, the list of third-party partners includes all your favorites like Starz, HBO, ShowTime and more. Netflix, unfortunately, hasn’t made the list! Not so chill now, huh?

More Good News

All Apple Channels are on-demand, ad-free, and you can download it for offline viewing. Sounds familiar? That’s coz Amazon and Netflix do it too! Oh, and you can also share it all with your famila via Apple’s Family Sharing feature.

Going by ‘original content takes front and center’ approach, Apple redesigned its TV app with a new interface to accommodate the new Apple Channels and make them easier to find.

There’s also a new “For You” section that recommends personalized content based on your subscription history. Finally, someone who pays attention to me! Want to know another mind-blowing feature? The “Up Next” section lets you pick up right where you left off. How cool is that! Okay, maybe not that cool.

But you’ll definitely love how third-party content opens up right inside of the TV app. No more exiting the app and opening up another one. Guess who’s gonna break the binge-watching record! Me! The only catch is that for you to subscribe to channels like showtime via Prime, you must be a paid subscriber first. Apple, on the other hand, will not ask for a subscription to its video streaming service to go crazy with the TV Channel service! As you can see, Apple’s à la carte offering – ‘Apple TV Channels’ is already posing an imminent threat to Amazon. Yet it is still a long way from dethroning Netflix as the ultimate video streaming service.

But that doesn’t stop Apple. Flaunting how Apple TV app is now the one stop shop for your TV streaming needs, Stern said, “Whether you get your TV from a streaming service like Prime Video, Hulu, or ESPN+; movies from iTunes; sports, news and network TV from cable or satellite; or shows from HBO, ShowTime, and Starz from the new Apple TV Channels, it’s all together in one place: the Apple TV app.” And the senior VP Eddy Cue said: “Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.

The Recap

Towards the end, Apple finally coughed up a few more details about the Apple TV+. So here’s a recap! Apple TV+ is a subscription service with no ads, and is full of original content created by the bigwigs in the entertainment industry. The service will be launched in over 100 countries this fall. In addition, all of the new TVs with support for AirPlay will be able to stream the third party videos. Once you have the Apple TV app, it will be home to AirPlay, new TV Channels and all of your purchased videos from iTunes. The only thing I don’t know yet is the cost. But like I said, the cost will be revealed this fall.

Oh wait — one more thing: Oprah made a grand appearance and said she would “join forces” with Apple to “serve this moment.

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