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Apple unveils premium news, gaming and telly services, and a credit card too

By | Published on Tuesday 26 March 2019


Apple yesterday significantly expanded its subscriptions business by unveiling premium news, gaming and video-on-demand services, all in one sitting. It even threw into the mix a new-fangled Apple credit card that you could use to pay for all this digital content.

Apple TV+ was widely anticipated, with Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, JJ Abrams, Jason Momoa, M Night Shyamalan and Jon M Chu among those lined up to make programmes for the tech giant’s Netflix rival.

“We’re honoured that the absolute best line-up of storytellers in the world – both in front of and behind the camera – are coming to Apple TV+”, said the company’s Eddy Cue. “We’re THRILLED to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this autumn. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet”.

Meanwhile, Apple News+ will aggregate premium content from an assortment of newspapers and magazines and Apple Arcade will be a subscription platform full of gaming gubbins. The premium newsy stuff kicks off in North America straight away, while the video and gaming services will roll out in the autumn.

All three new set-ups will sit alongside Apple Music, of course, meaning the tech giant is now in the subscriptions game across much of the media and entertainment spectrum.

This could mean that Spotify finds new allies elsewhere in the online entertainment business in its current beef with the tech giant. Spotify, of course, accuses Apple of exploiting its device and platform dominance to give Apple Music an unfair competitive advantage in the streaming music marketplace. And it now wants the European Commission to intervene.

Netflix already has some of the same gripes with Apple as Spotify when it comes to interacting with customers using the tech firm’s devices, and those gripes will always heighten once Apple is a major head-on competitor. Though, arguably, in the online TV and film space, competing services are not necessarily in the either-or game when it comes to signing up users, in that many customers are willing to subscribe to multiple services to access each platform’s original content.