Apple unveils new streaming video service

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Apple is jumping into the world of streaming video with a service that will put them in competition with Amazon and Netflix.

At a star-studded event on Monday in Cupertino, Calif., Apple CEO Tim Cook laid out the company’s plans for a streaming service that will include original content from celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Anniston, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer and Kumail Nanjiani, among others.

{mosads}Apple did not reveal the price of its new streaming service, Apple TV+, but revealed that it will host exclusive TV shows and movies produced in-house.

Netflix, which has more than 130 million subscribers around the world, is currently at the forefront of the streaming world. The company earlier this month said it would not join Apple’s upcoming video streaming service. 

Apple on Monday called the service “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers.” Spielberg spoke first about his plan to revamp “Amazing Stories” on the platform, followed by Anniston and Witherspoon, who are collaborating to create and star in a show called “Morning Show.”

“[In “Morning Show”], we pull back the curtain on the power dynamics between men and women in the high-stakes world of morning news shows,” Witherspoon said, before actor Steve Carrell joined the two women on-stage to announce that he will also star on the show.

Apple also announced a revamped Apple TV app during the event. Apple TV Channels will allow customers to pay for and watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access and more through the app. 

The launch event centered around Apple TV+. Winfrey, a veteran talk show host, announced that she will be using the platform to build “the biggest, the most vibrant, the most stimulating book club on the planet.” 

Winfrey plans to host conversations with authors of books that she chooses to highlight, piggybacking on the international success of Oprah’s Book Club, which has highlighted Winfrey’s picks since 1996. 

“They’re in a billion pockets, y’all,” Winfrey said, explaining why she had chosen Apple to host her new efforts. “A billion pockets.” 

She is also working on two documentaries that will launch on Apple TV+, one about workplace sexual harassment and the other about mental health.

Nanijani introduced his new show, which he said will focus on the stories of various immigrants. He noted that the majority of the show’s writers and directors are either immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Cook said Apple TV+ will be coming to Apple devices this fall in over 100 countries. 

Apple executives at the widely-anticipated event also announced the company’s plans to launch a news subscription service through its News app, a game subscription for Apple devices, and a new Apple credit card tailor-made for the iPhone. 

The services rollout is part of Apple’s shift away from hardware, as iPhone sales are down around the world.

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