Apple plans to give away its $1 billion TV shows

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Apple TV
Apple is loading up with original content.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new TV streaming service will allegedly debut in early 2019 — and all those original Apple TV shows won’t cost customers anything, according to a recent report.

Despite planning to spend more than $1 billion on original content this year, Apple will supposedly give away its original content to customers that already own an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV.

Speculation on how Apple will distribute and charge for its TV shows has been a hot topic among analysts throughout the year. Some have suggested the company would bundle it in with Apple Music for an extra fee. Others theorize that Apple will create a separate subscription streaming option similar to Netflix.

CNBC reports that Apple will push the free shows out through the pre-installed TV app on iOS and tvOS. A complete revamp is reportedly in the works. The new version would include Apple-owned content, plus subscription channels like HBO and Starz that you can sign up for.

Apple wants PG-rated TV shows

Because Apple is giving away the shows away, it’s aiming to create PG-rated content with wide audience appeal. Apple is currently focusing on producing TV shows free from gratuitous sex, profanity or violence, although some shows may break this standard.

Peter Stern, Time Warner Cable’s former chief strategy officer, has reportedly been tasked with inking deals with media companies like HBO to bring them into the service. Stern reports to Eddy Cue and has been working at Apple since 2016.

Apple’s TV streaming service is reportedly set to debut at the beginning of next year. However, a number of its shows haven’t even gone into production yet. So we wouldn’t be surprised to see it arrive during mid-2019.