Apple makes its play in content, services - Mobile World Live

Apple makes its play in content, services

25 MAR 2019

Apple sought to build a new services empire on the back of its billion-plus base of device users, taking the wraps off new TV, gaming and news subscription products, along with a new credit card offer (see separate story, here).

In a star-studded reveal, Apple announced the Apple TV+ streaming service, which will launch later this year and offer original, advert-free programming on-demand through an updated Apple TV app.

A number of top-shelf content collaborators have been recruited for the project including: Steven Spielberg; J.J. Abrams; Oprah Winfrey; M. Night Shyamalan; Jennifer Aniston; and Jason Momoa. Pricing for the service is yet to be announced.

The revamped Apple TV app will debut in May with a new Channels feature, which will let users subscribe to a menu of additional streaming services including HBO, Showtime and Starz. The app will be offered across Apple devices, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, along with smart TVs from Samsung, LG Electronics, Sony and Vizio.

Playing the game
Apple also sought to capitalise on the popularity of mobile gaming with the debut of Apple Arcade. The subscription service will offer more than 100 exclusive games which can be played across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, either online or off.

The titles will be available via a new dedicated tab in the App Store.

Apple emphasised privacy as part of its offer, noting Arcade won’t track what games users play or which device they use.

Again, pricing remains unknown, but Apple said the service will be offered in more than 150 countries later this year.

The announcement followed the launch of Google’s Stadia web-based gaming platform last week.

News
Apple also unveiled a subscription news service, snappily titled Apple News+, which will package together content from 300 magazines spanning entertainment; fashion; news and politics; health; lifestyle; travel; food; and automotive, among others.

Features will include live covers and infographics for an interactive experience, as well as lists of top and trending stories, and personalised recommendations.

Apple said a News+ subscription will cost $9.99 per month compared with the combined $8,000 it would cost to subscribe to each title individually. The monthly price includes family sharing.

The service is available starting today (25 March) in the US, with Canada to follow before it is made available in the UK and Australia later this year.

Analysis
Telecom analyst Paolo Pescatore said the rollout of so many new subscription offers paves the way for Apple to introduce “new business models such as all you can eat bundles like Amazon Prime”.

“In the future we might even see users pay for a service bundle and receive a new iPhone every year.”

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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