Apple is going to charge for its new streaming-video service. The tech giant announced a big push into streaming video at an event in its Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California on March 25, featuring a parade of stars and a sizzle reel of its upcoming programming.
The service, called Apple TV+, will require a subscription and will not include ads. It is slated to launch in the fall. Apple plans to release details on pricing and availability around that time. The company said the service will be available in more than 100 countries.
Apple is touting original programming from creators like Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Sesame Workshop, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, JJ Abrams, M. Night Shyamalan, and more, all of whom took the stage at the event to announce their upcoming projects for Apple TV+.
It was previously thought that the tech company might give the programming away for free to its more than 1 billion device users around the world, as a loss leader to get people to subscribe to other Apple services and use the company’s hardware. By charging a subscription fee, Apple is challenging incumbent streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and the upcoming Disney+ service head on. It will be fighting to be among a handful of video subscriptions people are willing to pay for each month.
Want a better understanding Apple’s TV strategy? Check out our guide to the streaming-TV wars.