Celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell, Big Bird, and Jason Momoa turned out for the launch of Apple’s subscription services where the giant confirmed long-held rumours that it would be expanding beyond its tech products.
Among the subscription services launched were a revamped video Apple TV app, called Channels, that includes access to live TV content, ranging from HBO, Showtime, CBS, Comedy Central and more; Apple News+, which offers access to 300 top magazine titles and top newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times; and Apple Arcade, which is a game subscription service that lets users access more than 100 “exclusive” titles from almost anywhere, including mobile and desktop devices, as well as from the TV in your living room.
Apple TV Channels will let users access a bundle of content from popular services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, the Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and others that will be added over time.
The service, which launches in May, will bring a redesigned Apple TV app and experience without requiring users to create a new account.
The big announcement of the evening, however, was for AppleTV+ a video subscription service, which aims to “take on Hollywood with its arsenal of original content”.
Oprah is working on two documentaries for Apple: Toxic Labor, which focuses on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace; as well as another unnamed project on mental health across the globe.
Steven Spielberg will reboot the TV series Amazing Stories, while Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell will collaborate on a new TV series called The Morning Show.
Apple also launched a new credit card facility in partnership with Goldman Sachs that will use Mastercard’s global payment network, so that it can be used anywhere around the globe.
“With Apple Pay, we have completely rethought the Apple Card,” said Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, on stage.
To usher in the new era, CEO Tim Cook took to the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s Cupertino, California-based headquarters.
“Today is going to be a very different kind of event,” Cook said on stage.
“We’ve been creating a world-class collection of services, and that’s what today is about.”