Apple TV+ is now available, a video subscription service that Apple has been working on for over two years now. The new streaming service debuts in over 100 countries, and can be accessed now inside the TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, and select smart TV manufacturers, as well as from tv.apple.com.
Apple TV+ costs $4.99 per month, but all users are offered a 7-day free trial; also, anyone who has purchased a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod touch since September 10 will receive a free year of service. Finally, even if you don’t subscribe at all, Apple has made the first two episodes of all of its series available for free viewing in the TV app.
While the cost of entry is low for Apple TV+, what you get for the price is also fairly limited at the moment. Apple has branded TV+ “the first all-original video subscription service,” which means there’s no back catalog of legacy content, only brand new shows and movies that have never been released before. This angle could be spun as a positive thing in some respects, because many streaming consumers these days care most about new content, but it also means you can quickly watch everything TV+ has to offer and be stuck waiting for more content.
Here’s the full lineup of everything Apple TV+ offers today:
Like all other Apple TV channels, TV+ content is entirely ad-free, it can be accessed by up to six family members via Family Sharing, and you can download content to watch offline. In most cases, TV+ content is available with 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos support.
The debut of a new streaming service is entirely different from the kind of hardware launches we typically see from Apple. Whereas with hardware, a launch is very much the summation of all Apple’s work on that product, for a service like Apple TV+, today is much more a beginning than an end. While a lot of work has gone into producing the content debuting today, TV+ is a long-term commitment to continue producing new original content and releasing it regularly. While I think Apple’s launch lineup of content is fine for the low (or non-existent) price of entry, I’m especially excited about this launch because of the new start it represents, bringing hopefully years worth of quality shows and movies to Apple users.