Apple streaming? Tech giant to make major announcement at California event

Several of the series will launch this fall when the company's long-awaited subscription streaming service goes live.

Without another category-defining new gadget announced to the public, Apple is looking to rely more on selling subscriptions and services such as video, music and hardware insurance. Along with Oprah's new shows, it will feature original programs from Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, M. Night Shyamalan, Reese Witherspoon, and J.J. Abrams, among others.

PRICES | Not yet available, though the service will be ad-free. In a seeming shot at Google's Stadia service, Apple was sure to mention that these games can be downloaded and played offline.

Apple has also announced that the new Apple TV app will be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring, and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony, and VIZIO platforms in the future. Last but not least, the new Apple TV app will allow users to purchase or rent iTunes movies and TV shows.

Apple also announced a new subscription-based magazine service, with access to more than 300 USA magazines for $9.99 (£7.58) a month - a United Kingdom launch is set to follow in autumn.

During the presentation, Cook said 70% of retailers in the USA allow payment via Apple Pay, while in Australia the company claims the figure is at 99%. The current Apple TV app is accessible via your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, but now they are also introducing it on the Mac as well as Smart TVs. Some of the periodicals already on board include Esquire, Wired, and a couple of newspapers as well, like the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. With Apple TV channels, subscribers will be able to pay for the premium networks they want, such as HBO, Showtime and Starz.

The company is not expected to directly rival the likes of Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

Spielberg briefly took the stage to announce the revival of Amazing Stories, an anthology series he will be bringing to Apple TV+.

Consumers knew Apple would be announcing its own streaming platform, although there was a debate as to how seriously they were taking the endeavour, with the US$2bn set aside for new programming paling in comparison to Netflix's US$10bn a year it spends on new content. The first two will look at sexual harassment in the workplace and mental health. Heading to the site now will show a teaser for the "Apple Special Event" and the time that it starts, though it still gives no indication of what might be revealed.

Big Bird - yes, Big Bird - popped up to promote a new preschool show called Helpsters. It will star a new Muppet named Cody who teaches kids how to code.

  • Jacqueline Ellis