Apple has unveiled the first details about its new TV streaming service – with the help of some serious star power.
Billed as a rival to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV + will be the home of new original series on Apple as it seeks to draw users to its subscription services.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey, directors Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams, stars Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Momoa all appeared on stage during Apple’s live ‘It’s Show Time’ event.
Oprah Winfrey revealed she had two documentary projects currently in production with Apple: one focussing on sexual exploitation in the workplace, and another on the “devastating” issues surrounding mental health around the world.
She also teased the launch of a new online book club, set to feature live streamed interviews with authors via Apple TV+. She says that she wants it to be “the biggest, the most vibrant, the most stimulating book club on the planet”.
Director Spielberg meanwhile teased the revival of classic sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories, while Witherspoon and Aniston unveiled the first official details about their new series, The Morning Show, along with Steve Carrell.
Aquaman star Jason Momoa and Luke Cage actress Alfre Woodard revealed their new series See, written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. The series centres on a world “devastated by a virus that left only a few million survivors, who emerged blind.”
Star Wars director discussed his series Little Voice alongside singer songwriter Sara Bareilles. Bareilles also performed the theme song for the show live on stage.
Other entertainment figures to feature in Apple’s teaser video above include Damien Chazelle, Sofia Coppola, Ron Howard, M Night Shyamalan, Octavia Spencer and Hailee Steinfeld.
All these new series will be available on Apple’s new TV subscription service, Apple TV+.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the special guests on stage were just a “sneak peek” of what was to come.
The streaming service will be available from Autumn 2019 in over 100 countries according to the announcement. The original services will be available to stream or download offline for subscribers.
Apple TV Plus key details
Release date: Autumn 2019
How can I watch? On all Apple mobile devices and computers, as well as Smart TVs from providers such as Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio
Rumours have circulated about the new service since Apple first hired two former Sony TV executives back in 2017 to lead the company’s TV offering, but this is the first time that the company has made public its ambitions for original content.
Apple unveiled the service during its highly anticipated ‘It’s Show Time’ keynote event on Monday 25th March 2019.
Fans around the world followed the live stream of CEO Tim Cook’s speech from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Apple is not the only company joining the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the TV streaming service market: Disney is set to launch its own ‘Disney +‘ service later in 2019.
The new streaming service is a significant step up from the company’s existing ‘Apple TV’, a set-top box and app that allows viewers to access other companies’ apps such as BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.