Apple TV+: Apple's Streaming Video Service

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Apple's new Apple TV+ streaming service features dozens of original TV shows and movies with high-profile producers, directors, and actors, with all of that content available now or coming over the course of the next few months.

In the guide below, we've rounded up all of the details on Apple's new streaming TV service, which officially launched on November 1, 2019.


What is Apple TV+?

Apple TV+ is the name of Apple's new television service that is home to the original TV shows and movies that are funded by Apple. There are dozens in the works, with a list available in our dedicated Apple TV show guide.

Apple is aiming to compete with existing streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Showtime, and others with its original content and has brought on huge names ranging from Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams to Oprah.


Well-known actors and actresses like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell are involved in Apple's original TV shows.

What's Apple's goal with original content?

Apple says that it wants to make Apple TV+ the home for the "world's most creative storytellers," providing funding and a platform for TV shows, movies, and documentaries with "inspiriting and authentic stories with emotional depth and compelling characters."

Apple wants Apple TV+ to offer the "highest quality" original storytelling available.

Are there ads?

Nope. Apple TV+ is ad-free and available to watch on-demand.

What's the price?

Apple announced at its September media event that Apple TV+ yet would be priced at $4.99 per month, with a one-week free trial. There's also an annual $49.99 subscription that saves a bit of money over the monthly option, and subscriptions also support Family Sharing, so up to six members of a family can access content using a single subscription.

Apple is also offering a free one-year subscription to Apple TV+ with the purchase of a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac. Device purchases after September 10, 2019, qualify for the offer.

When's it coming?

Apple TV+ launched on November 1, 2019, in over 100 countries.

How do I watch?

Apple TV+ is built into the Apple TV app, which was overhauled earlier in 2019. The Apple TV app provides access to Apple TV+ content right alongside content from third-party providers, with machine learning and AI techniques used to recommend content that's perfect for you.

The Apple TV app is available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple TV. It is also available on the web at tv.apple.com and on Roku, Amazon Fire TV devices, and Samsung smart TVs.

Can I download TV shows for offline viewing?

Yes. You can download TV shows and movies for offline viewing.

Can I watch on more than one device?

Yes. Up to six family members can watch on their own individual devices through Family Sharing. Family Sharing requires all Apple ID accounts in the family to use the same credit card for all Apple content, so giving someone access to an Apple TV+ account isn't quite as simple as sharing a Netflix account.

What's the difference between Apple TV+ and Channels?

The revamped TV app also includes "Channels," which will let you subscribe to and watch services like HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin, and MTV Hits, right in the TV app without needing to open a different app. Channels are completely separate from Apple TV+, which is in fact Apple's own channel and available the Channels section.

Along with Channels and Apple TV+, the Apple TV app makes recommendations and suggestions for shows and movies from iTunes and more than 150 streaming apps and cable services like Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue, though content that is not Apple's own and not included in a channel will need to be watched in a third-party app just like the original TV app.

Are Apple TV shows in 4K?

Yes. Original Apple TV+ content is available in 4K HDR with support for Dolby Vision. Most titles also offer Dolby Atmos sound.

Will Apple TV+ movies be in theaters?

Yes. Apple is releasing some of its Apple TV+ movies in theaters before releasing them on Apple TV+. Movies that have been or will be in theaters include "Hala," "The Banker," and "The Elephant Queen."

Where is Apple TV+ available?

Apple TV+ is available in more than 100 countries. Apple TV+ content is not available outside of the TV app.

What devices support Apple TV+?

Apple TV+ can be watched through the following sources:[*]iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 or later
[*]Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD with tvOS 13 or later
[*]Third-generation Apple TV with the latest software
[*]Smart TVs and streaming boxes that support the Apple TV app
[*]Macs running macOS Catalina or later
[*]tv.apple.com in a Safari, Firefox, or Chrome browserRight now, Samsung TVs support the Apple TV app, and other smart TV makers will be adding support in the future. The TV app is also available on the Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.

How can I sign up for Apple TV+?

As of November 1, customers can sign up in the Apple TV app or on tv.apple.com to start their Apple TV+ subscriptions.[*]How to Sign Up for Apple TV+How do I get my free year of Apple TV+

Apple is offering all customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV a free year of Apple TV+ access with the purchase.

To access the free subscription, open the TV app, and the "Enjoy 1 Year Free" offer should be presented immediately after launching the app or in the "Watch Now" section. If it isn't, make sure to check out our how to on activating it. If activation is still an issue, contact Apple Support as Apple is providing redemption codes for those who have not been able to access their free one-year subscriptions.

Each family can only get one year of free Apple TV+ one time, regardless of the number of devices purchased. You have three months after a device was purchased to claim the free Apple TV+ offer, or three years from when the service launches on November 1, whichever is later.

Apple says any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, or Mac purchased after September 10, 2019 and capable of running the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, or macOS is eligible for the free year of Apple TV+.

How can I cancel my Apple TV+ subscription?

You can cancel Apple TV+ on iPhone by opening up the Apple TV app, selecting your profile picture, and choosing the "Manage Subscriptions" option. From there, choose the "Cancel Free Trial" option.

Make sure to read the fine print before canceling if you have a free one-year trial from purchasing a device. If you cancel the subscription, it ends immediately and your access is revoked, so you'll want to make sure to set a calendar reminder to cancel in 2020 rather than canceling right away. The trial period also cannot be reactivated once canceled.

Free Apple TV+ for students with Apple Music subscription

Students who have a student subscription to Apple Music for $4.99 per month can also get access to Apple TV+ at no additional charge.

Reviews

Early reviews of several of Apple's TV shows have come in, and they're not great. "For All Mankind" received mostly positive reviewers as did "Dickinson," but media sites were not fans of "The Morning Show" or "See."

A rundown of the reviews can be found in our Apple TV+ review roundup.

Guide Feedback

See something we left out of our Apple TV+ guide or have a question not answered here? Let us know in the comments or Send us an email here.

Article Link: Apple TV+: Apple's Streaming Video Service
 
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pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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This is a botched concept. We don’t need channels and apps. We need one place to find and watch all the content, like iTunes did for digital music in 2001.
Isn’t that what the TV app is for? It houses Apple TV+ and Channels for non-Apple shows in one app (minus services that don’t want to get onboard like Netflix). But even for something like Netflix, it’s just an app tap away anyway.
 
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iRutherford

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Oct 30, 2018
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This is a botched concept. We don’t need channels and apps. We need one place to find and watch all the content, like iTunes did for digital music in 2001.
It's unrealistic. With music, you only have to deal with record labels and publishing companies; the artist and their management have no control where their music is distributed unless they have enough "pull" or a clause in their contract allows them to withdraw content at their discretion (such as in the case of Beyoncé's Lemonade). TV's rights are complicated. For one, some shows are commissioned from a third-party production company; sometimes, they are even made by a competing network. It makes things even more complicated because aside from the production company and the airing network, distribution, syndication and production rights are split between different entities, including the show creator/showrunner's banner. It's a total mess and can get very expensive quick.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 601
Sep 12, 2017
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This is a botched concept. We don’t need channels and apps. We need one place to find and watch all the content, like iTunes did for digital music in 2001.
We may need it, but we ain’t ever gonna get it.
The TV app is that one place to go to find content—as long as the provider wants to be listed. 150 providers will do so, but only some (partnered Apple TV Channels) will be available right there in the TV app, like HBO and Showtime, along with Apple’s own original content channel, Apple TV+ .

However, if the streaming service doesn’t want to make its content available from within the TV app, Apple can’t force them to. Netflix, Disney, Hulu, whoever... if they don’t want the make their content available outside their own app, that’s where you’ll have to go to watch it: their own app. Netflix and others don’t have to play ball right now if they don’t want to.

But if the TV app becomes really popular, customers of Netflix (and other services not available within the Apple TV app) at some point may demand that content be available inside the TV app. Netflix/others may have little choice, if they start losing subscribers because the TV app is so convenient and there’s so much content available right there. If customers get tired of having to jump out to a third party app, they might just cancel Netflix, for example. Instead, maybe they’ll just subscribe for a month every so often, when original content they want to watch is released.
 
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sidewinder3000

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Jan 29, 2010
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I get why Apple had to tease these to keep people interested until they are actually available, but that doesn’t stop me from being annoyed at how little we actually still know. I’m so ready to ditch Comcast. Hurry TF up!
 

PickUrPoison

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Sep 12, 2017
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Will there be content other than Apple originals though? That’s what I’d like to know.
I assume you refer to licensed content on Apple’s TV+ channel... that is, whether in addition to their few dozen titles of original content, there will be licensed content available alongside—just like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, etc. currently offer.

That’s not been made clear yet, but if they’re actually going to compete with those services—and want people to pay $10-15 a month for their own TV+ Channel—the answer must undoubtedly be yes: there will have to be a lot of third-party, licensed content.

Absolutely no one is going to pay $10-15 per month for a few dozen Apple originals. To get people to pay competitive prices, they’ll have to have a competitive offering. Disney is the only provider I can think of that has enough content to make a competitive $10-15 per month channel of broad interest without needing to license a ton of third party content to fill out their offering.

Now the article might be wrong, and Apple might not want to compete with the likes of Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime/HBO, at the $10-15 price point. If instead it’s $1.99 or maybe $2.99 per month, then Apple wouldn’t really need anything besides their few dozen, but continually growing, number of titles. (As their catalog expands over the years, Apple would be able to gradually increase the price.)
 

ipedro

macrumors 601
Nov 30, 2004
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But if the TV app becomes really popular, customers of Netflix (and other services not available within the Apple TV app) at some point may demand that content be available inside the TV app. Netflix/others may have little choice, if they start losing subscribers because the TV app is so convenient and there’s so much content available right there. If customers get tired of having to jump out to a third party app, they might just cancel Netflix, for example. Instead, maybe they’ll just subscribe for a month every so often, when original content they want to watch is released.
This is already happening. I use the TV app for the vast majority of my television watching. I’ve been watching all sorts of shows that I wouldn’t have found because previously, I was 100% Netflix, I was in their app full time whenever I turned on the TV.

But the fact that Netflix isn’t in the TV app has kept me from going to their app as much as I used to. So I cancelled my Netflix account and will likely reactivate it when Stranger Things and Black Mirror comes back for a month of binge watching. Until then, Netflix has lost me as a monthly customer.
 

IIGS User

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2019
143
217
Coming soon to Apple TV+. “AirPower: The Phantom Product”.

Starring:

Tim Cook as the Chinese Puppet
Steve Jobs as the master of days of yore
The iPhone as the shrinking revenue base
The MacBook Pro as the dfctiv keyboard without the Letter “E”
And
The Mac Pro as the rarely updated mall refuse can

With all your favorite antagonists, like FOXConn, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Microsoft playing their usual parts.

It will be EPIC, Lilly white, and overpriced by 20%.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 601
Sep 12, 2017
4,716
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Sunnyvale, CA
This is already happening. I use the TV app for the vast majority of my television watching. I’ve been watching all sorts of shows that I wouldn’t have found because previously, I was 100% Netflix, I was in their app full time whenever I turned on the TV.

But the fact that Netflix isn’t in the TV app has kept me from going to their app as much as I used to. So I cancelled my Netflix account and will likely reactivate it when Stranger Things and Black Mirror comes back for a month of binge watching. Until then, Netflix has lost me as a monthly customer.
Interesting. You can bet Netflix is aware of this trend; they’re quite astute.

The CEO of Netflix just gave a rather candid answer to a press question of how Netflix would compete with Apple and other new entrants; he said it would be difficult and would probably drive up content acquisition costs. But the fact is with Disney+, Apple, WarnerMedia, and existing strong competitors like Hulu and Amazon Prime, Netflix is going to be getting a smaller piece of a roughly same-size streaming pie. Customers aren’t going to carry 5 or 6 services per month/every month.

Apple has a lot of customers, and they’re expanding the reach of Apple TV beyond their own 1.4 billion devices: smart TVs, Fire TV and Roku were all announced to be getting the Apple TV app this year. I think Apple has a shot to get a critical mass of content discovered through the TV app. Controlling discovery is huge, and over the next 5-10 years I think we’ll see more and more streaming services partner with Apple to stream their content on Channels.

Sure Hastings wants you to be in the Netflix app to watch their content, but I think that’s going to be a “nice to have” for them rather than a requirement at some point, and not just for Netflix but others too. Five years ago many had only Netflix, so you could live in the Netflix app. Now Netflix + Hulu (plus maybe Amazon Prime) is relatively common. Disney will be a necessity for any household with kids; it remains to be seen exactly what Apple is going to offer on Apple Plus besides their original content. It could they’ll offer a subset of their Channels partners’ content. (Amazon already does this; for example some of HBO’s original content is available free to Prime viewers.)

If the Apple TV+ streaming service is sufficiently attractive (I think it will be) then Apple will get their chunk of the streaming entertainment dollar. Plus they’ve got the further advantage of the Apple TV app, which gives people a home(base) to “live” in. I think they’re well positioned to bring in some serious revenue, if they execute well.
 
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iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
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I think tv+ subscription should allow access to a limited number of iTunes Movies and TV rentals. Just to complement the Apple original shows.

Let’s say a bundle with 4-8 of any iTunes movie rentals, and maybe a dozen of tv episodes per month, with the limit being reset each month, whether you use it up or not. No rollovers.

Customers who already pass the rental limit will have to pay the regular price, or wait for next billing period to get another free rents.

It may keeps me interested in tv+ for even longer. Say if I already watch all Apple’s originals show, there’s always a few rentals I could enjoy.

This also solves the limiting factor of Netflix’s “all you can eat” model. You see third party movie titles come and go, but you can’t never really have it all at one time.
 

PickUrPoison

macrumors 601
Sep 12, 2017
4,716
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Sunnyvale, CA
I think tv+ subscription should allow access to a limited number of iTunes Movies and TV rentals. Just to complement the Apple original shows.

Let’s say a bundle with 4-8 of any iTunes movie rentals, and maybe a dozen of tv episodes per month, with the limit being reset each month, whether you use it up or not. No rollovers.

Customers who already pass the rental limit will have to pay the regular price, or wait for next billing period to get another free rents.

It may keeps me interested in tv+ for even longer. Say if I already watch all Apple’s originals show, there’s always a few rentals I could enjoy.

This also solves the limiting factor of Netflix’s “all you can eat” model. You see third party movie titles come and go, but you can’t never really have it all at one time.
Interesting idea, most posters who mention iTunes want unlimited access, but that would cost a fortune (for Apple and for the customer). Could work, maybe a combination of that plus some content from Channels partners.
 
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iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,176
318
Interesting idea, most posters who mention iTunes want unlimited access, but that would cost a fortune (for Apple and for the customer). Could work, maybe a combination of that plus some content from Channels partners.
Well yeah I see the problem with all you can eat model because cast of hugr iTunes movies collection.

This “rental coupons” give some sort of freedom for tv+ subscribers without being overly abusive for Apple as the service provider.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 601
Sep 12, 2017
4,716
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Sunnyvale, CA
Rephrasing sparse facts into faq-like questions makes an article now?
I think FAQ is a good choice for documents that are going to be maintained. As more info becomes known, the appropriate section can be updated. I don’t really see how the content would be better served by a traditional news article format, others probably disagree ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

jdawgnoonan

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2007
360
227
Clive, Iowa
I worry that Apple will only have G and PG Rated original content and that they will try to avoid producing any content that is at a controversial in any way.
 

Scooz

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2012
340
344
I think FAQ is a good choice for documents that are going to be maintained. As more info becomes known, the appropriate section can be updated. I don’t really see how the content would be better served by a traditional news article format, others probably disagree ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’d agree for cases where there’s enough info that could be sorted into areas typical to the product. MR has enough good examples.

So early with the few pieces and topics of information available on TV+ though, the topic list looked a bit constructed, or like a list of gameshow-esque “rephrase that as a question” bullet points.
 

Unity451

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2011
367
1,504
California
I want a way to subscribe to specific shows. I don't want to get all the content from a particular channel when I only watch a few shows.