Apple has announced its own TV and film subscription service, marking a major foray into the streaming business dominated by Netfix and Amazon.
The tech giant today unveiled Apple TV+ at a star-studded launch event in California featuring the likes of Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
The firm revealed the new service will house its original shows and movies, with stars attending to talk about their upcoming projects.
Apple also laid out the details of its news subscription service, Apple News Plus, and a new titanium credit card.
“I’m so grateful to be here today,” Spielberg said at the event. “This is my first time at Apple, the place where imagination and technology join forces.”
Witherspoon and Aniston were joined on stage by Steve Carell to talk about their series The Morning Show while Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard revealed details about their project, See.
JJ Abrams, M Night Shyamalan, Sofia Coppola, Ron Howard and Octavia Spencer also appeared in a preview video for the company’s new service.
“Today we’re excited to extend our services even further to make them even more entertaining, more useful and more informative,” said Apple chief executive Tim Cook at an event held at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.
Apple TV+ is set to launch in more than 100 countries in autumn and will be available within the existing Apple TV app.
Users will also be able to access content from other channels and providers, such as HBO and Amazon Prime.
The streaming video entertainment sector is becoming ever more competitive, with Disney and WarnerMedia currently working on their own plans.
Meanwhile the BBC and ITV recently announced plans to collaborate on a joint subscription-based streaming service called BritBox, featuring new commissions, recent shows and old British favourites.
Apple also announced a new subscription-based magazine service, with access to more than 300 US magazines for $9.99 (£7.58) per month – a UK launch is set to follow in autumn – as well as Apple Arcade, a subscription gaming platform for mobile, desktop and living room, with over 100 new and exclusive games that will also be released in autumn.
And the firm unveiled its first credit card, built directly into a user’s iPhone, as the company made a surprise new step into financial services.
The new Apple Card will allow users to sign up from their iPhone and begin using it “in minutes”.
The technology giant said its new system would automatically track and categorise spending for users, as well as customise repayment times.
It will be usable anywhere around the world where the firm’s Apple Pay payment system is currently available.
The firm said its card would have no fees and all purchases made with the card would receive 2 per cent cash back each day, rising to 3 per cent for purchases made at Apple stores or through the company itself.
A physical version of the card made out of titanium is also to be launched for use in locations where Apple Pay is not accepted.
Apple TV+ also comes amid a shift in the company’s profit, moving towards services instead of relying on hardware sales.
Its star product, the iPhone, remains a triumph but recent numbers have shown a fall in demand, while its services, which include its Apple Music streaming app, are growing.
The last quarterly results revealed that revenue from its services business jumped 19%, from $9.1 billion (£7 billion) to $10.9 billion (£8.3 billion) year-on-year.
Apple will be hoping to emulate the success of Apple Music, which has gained more than 50 million subscribers since launching in 2015 and is closing in on market leader Spotify.
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