Apple TV Plus will bow in November with a “small selection” of shows, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. At $9.99, which analysts have guessed would be the price point Apple landed on, that would be less than Netflix’s standard plan ($12.99) but higher than Disney Plus ($6.99).
The question is whether consumers will find Apple TV Plus compelling enough to fork over 10 bucks every month over the long haul, given the billowing options in the over-the-top space — with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video to be joined by WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s streaming service in the coming months. Disney Plus is set to launch Nov. 12 in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, followed a week later by Australia and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Apple has “committed” upwards of $6 billion to original programming, up from a previous $1 billion outlay, the Financial Times reported Monday, citing anonymous sources. However, it’s not clear what time period the $6 billion in spending would cover.
According to the Bloomberg report, the tech giant is spending about $300 million on the first two seasons of “The Morning Show” alone. Apple ordered two 10-episode seasons of the morning-talker drama series, which stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. That works out to $15 million per episode — roughly in range of what HBO spent on the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
The $9.99-per-month price point for Apple TV Plus would match what it charges for the individual Apple Music service as well as Apple News Plus subscription plan. The company also is prepping Apple Arcade, a game-subscription service.
Apple hasn’t confirmed pricing or a launch date for Apple TV Plus. When it touted the shows and talent in March, the company said it would debut in the fall of 2019 in over 100 countries.
It’s still not clear what the Apple TV Plus lineup will be at launch. Given how Apple has been hyping it, “The Morning Show” is likely to be on the menu. On Monday, it released the first full trailer for the series. Given the light initial offering, Apple is likely to launch Apple TV Plus with a free trial.
Other shows Apple has announced for the subscription-streaming service include: “For All Mankind,” Ronald D. Moore’s alternative-history drama series about the space race; “Little America,” an anthology series based on real stories of immigrants from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon; Sara Bareilles/J.J. Abrams romantic dramedy “Little Voice”; “Dickinson,” based on the life of the famous poet with Hailee Steinfeld in the title role; and a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” anthology series.
Apple is still mulling how it will release episodes on Apple TV Plus. Rather than dropping full seasons all at once for binge-watching (like Netflix), Apple is looking at releasing the first three episodes with the rest to come out weekly, per the Bloomberg report.