APPLE TV+ LAUNCHES IN NOVEMBER
It seems like only yesterday we baulked at the ever-rising price of a Foxtel subscription. Netflix emerged at just the right time as the people's champion, bringing with it loads of content for the small amount of only ten bucks a month.
Nothing ever stands still though, and in amongst a small price-rise from Netflix, we all updated our TVs to 4K which brought the cost of a Netflix subscription closer to $20 if you wanted the highest-quality content.
Most did not consider this a lousy deal, especially considering Netflix's vast library of content, and the odd exclusive.
Things only get more interesting with the likes of Amazon Prime and the soon to be released Disney Plus. Of course, each of these services will offer exclusive content in an attempt to compete for your attention (and money!).
But before you know it, you've subscribed to half a dozen video streaming services, and that Foxtel subscription seems quite reasonable by comparison. I wish it were as simple as cancelling my other subscriptions and signing up to Foxtel, but it isn't.
The Australian market is getting crowded, and while a little choice and competition never hurt, the influx of 'exclusive content' each service is offering leaves consumers in the unenviable position of having to subscribe and pay for several different services to get all the content they want.
Coming to the party a little late but certainly not before the last slow dance of the night, is Apple TV+ which launches globally on 1st November at the cost of $7.99 per month. Unlike other providers though, Apple TV+ claims to be “the first all-original video subscription service”.
Subscribers will be able to stream content directly from their iPhone via the Apple TV app, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch and Mac. Furthermore, customers who purchase an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will receive a complimentary one-year subscription - which is sure to gain the new service many thousands of new customers in itself.
For those like me who are not of the Apple persuasion, content can also be accessed on newer Samsung smart TVs and at tv.apple.com with Safari, Chrome and Firefox. Support for LG, Roku and Sony are planned for the future.
At launch, Apple TV+ will offer nine original titles, each limited to three episodes, with further episodes rolling out as they become available.
“See,” an epic drama starring Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.
“Morning Wars,” a cutthroat drama starring and executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and starring Steve Carell, explores the world of morning news and the ego, ambition and the misguided search for power behind the people who help America wake up in the morning.
“Dickinson,” a darkly comedic coming-of-age story, explores the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.
“For All Mankind,” a new series from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space program remained the cultural centrepiece of America's hopes and dreams.
“Helpsters,” a new children's series from the makers of “Sesame Street,” stars Cody and a team of vibrant monsters who love to help solve problems. It all starts with a plan.
“Snoopy in Space,” a new original from Peanuts Worldwide and DHX Media, takes viewers on a journey with Snoopy as he follows his dreams to become an astronaut. Together, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew take command of the International Space Station and explore the moon and beyond.
“Ghostwriter,” a reinvention of the beloved original series, follows four kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore and must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.
“The Elephant Queen,” an acclaimed documentary film and cinematic love letter to a species on the verge of extinction, follows a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.
Oprah Winfrey joins the world's most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.
Other original titles to be rolled out in coming months include:
“Servant,” a new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.
“Truth Be Told,” a gripping new series starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and Emmy Award winner Aaron Paul, explores America's obsession with true crime podcasts and navigates urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.
“Little America,” inspired by the true stories featured in Epic Magazine, brings to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.
“The Banker,” a feature film inspired by a true story, stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two African American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the African American community in Jim Crow Texas. Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult also star.
“Hala,” a feature film and official selection of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, follows a high school senior struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.
Apple's ask of just $8 per month for genuinely exclusive content may well be enough to win a healthy slice of market share. The problem is the pool of available cash for monthly subscriptions is not infinitely deep for the majority, and at some point, we may have to weigh up just which services are delivering genuinely unique content and value for money.
For more information, visit Apple TV+.
As the owner of Adelaide based ‘Clarity Audio & Video Calibration’, Tony is a certified ISF Calibrator. Tony is an accomplished Audio-Visual reviewer specialising in theatre and visual products.