Docs

Apple officially unveils streaming service Apple TV+, doc partnership with Oprah

Media and tech giant Apple revealed new details about its upcoming SVOD service today (March 25), along with new unscripted projects from Oprah Winfrey, at a star-studded press event at ...
March 25, 2019

Media and tech giant Apple revealed new details about its upcoming SVOD service today (March 25), along with new unscripted projects from Oprah Winfrey, at a star-studded press event at the Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled a series of new or updated services from Apple during the event, included advances in Apple News and Apple Pay, with the rollout of an Apple credit card called Apple Card on the horizon, as well as a new subscription video game service called Apple Arcade.

On the television front, VP of services Peter Stern laid out how Apple TV will now combine various TV services from cable, satellite and streaming services, all accessible through a single interface. Apple TV will also offer options for subscribing to individual channels outside of traditional cable bundles, including agreements with HBO, Showtime, Epix, Smithsonian Channel Plus, PBS Living, CuriosityStream, Starz and more.

“This is how TV should work,” said Stern, to the packed Steve Jobs Theater. “No more bouncing from app to app.” Apple TV will now also, for the first time, be available on Smart TVs, starting with Samsung, as well as on Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

As for original content, following months of speculation, Apple clarified some plans regarding its upcoming Apple TV+ service, which will offer original content from the company.

Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, and more were in attendance, showcasing their own upcoming original series at Apple.

The only unscripted content announcement came from Oprah Winfrey, who received two standing ovations. Winfrey has two documentary projects coming to Apple TV+. Toxic Labor (working title) will explore sexual harassment, abuse and assault in the workplace, while an untitled second project will look at mental health with the aim of reducing stigma and shame.

Winfrey also announced plans to revive her book club, though details were limited.

“They’re a company that has redesigned how we communicate,” said Winfrey of Apple. “They’re in a billion pockets, y’all.”

Apple TV+ will be ad-free and feature more than 100 original titles at launch. It launches in the fall, though a precise date has not been set, and it remains unknown how much the service will cost.

“This is just a sneak peek. The beginning of something exciting,” said Cook, wrapping up the event. “What a fun morning.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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