AppleTV Plus, Channels, and Arcade
This week Apple launched it's new TV streaming service called AppleTV Plus. The service features original content along with a redesigned AppleTV app. According to Apple the new service will be “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries”. Apple will spend about $2 Billion initially
To access Apple TV Plus you will need a new Apple TV app on iOS, Mac, Roku, Fire TV, and televisions from various manufacturers.
Apple also announced Apple TV Channels. Through the channels service you will be able to purchase pay channels and services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, and others directly through the TV app and watch everything there as well. Currently you have to manage these services outside the app however the shows you watch can be accessed within the AppleTV app once done. To watch an HBO show for example, the AppleTV app will launch the HBO application. With the Channels feature, Apple will be handling the streams and promises top-tier picture and audio quality for all Apple TV Channels it offers.
Channels will enable users to customize content bundles from any source, with everything being delivered through the forthcoming update to the Apple TV app. The new app will be available on Apple's 1.4 billion devices that include Mac computers. But it will also be coming to smart TVs, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV connected-TV devices. Apple claims to have over 150 video providers for it's Channel service.
Launching this fall with more than 100 new and exclusive games, Arcade will be Apple's ad-free, subscription gaming offering launching across devices in 150 countries. The service will work directly with developer partners including Disney and LEGO, and will frequently and dynamically roll out new gaming content. Apple didn't specify pricing. The service will have a tab inside of the App Store rather than its own app, and it will be available offline.
The more the merrier! More content is great. Apple’s ability to attract star power may be the the key that people are overlooking, afterall Oprah is already onboard. Big stars could provide a compelling reason to tunein. Price will be a big factor. Still, we are still hoping that one day a service will provide total access to ALL content in iTunes making iTunes your de facto DVR. Until that day this is a start.
As far as the AppleTV Channels app goes, we have been saying this all along. We see the day when you will be able to buy your content directly from the networks and have an app aggregate them into “channels’. The Channels service will make it simple to find content which which should work well for the content providers. In app purchases through Apple is far easier than pulling out a credit card and signing up and paying for yet another service. This is more of a play against Amazon which has a similar service. We have tried that service and didn’t find it smooth or integrated. If Apple does this right it may have more luck in pulling this off.