Apple takes on Netflix with its own original TV service

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CEO Tim Cook before a picture of actors, directors, and producers of Apple TV+ original shows.
CEO Tim Cook before a picture of actors, directors, and producers of Apple TV+ original shows.
Photo: Apple

Hundreds of TV shows are available through dozens of streaming services, and Apple has just added itself to the mix with a stable of original programs. But rather than increasing the complexity, Apple is hoping to simplify everything by becoming a one-stop-shop for multiple offerings, including HBO, Showtime and more.

This service is called, logically enough, Apple TV+

Even Apple’s partners don’t know what its streaming TV service will cost

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AirPlay 2
You’ll be able to subscribe to HBO through the Apple TV service but HBO doesn’t know what it’ll cost.
Photo: Apple

If you’re curious about the cost of the Apple TV service set to debut on Monday, you’re in good company: apparently, the media companies that will provide much of the content are almost equally in the dark. 

Still, they think they might know something about Apple’s plans, and it’s good news for users of iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Apple rushes to add HBO and Showtime to streaming service

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Apple TV service facing competition
The Apple TV service will reportedly have movies and shows from other big-name companies.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has created numerous shows for its streaming TV service, but is reportedly also negotiating deals to bring in content from other sources, including HBO and Showtime.

This should help the Apple TV service compete against established rivals, especially Netflix.

‘Transformative’ buy could lift Apple TV subs to 100 million

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apple tv
The Apple TV service expected son could bring in $7 billion to $10 billion annually.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s streaming TV service is going to be a very significant force in the market if a market-analysis firm is correct.

The service the iPhone maker is prepping could, in a few years, garner far more subscribers than some of its established competitors. 

Spectrum TV brings 60 channels to your Apple TV for $15

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You’ll be able to watch Spectrum TV Essentials through Charter’s iOS app.
You’ll be able to watch Spectrum TV Essentials through Charter’s iOS app.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Charter Communications, the US’s second largest cable company, is launching an inexpensive streaming TV service. For just $14.99 a month, subscribers will be able to watch 60+ live channels on an Apple TV, iOS device, Mac, or other computer.

Spectrum TV Essentials is scheduled to go live in March, when it will have to compete with similar services, like Sling TV and YouTube TV.

Hollywood stars tapped to attend Apple’s March event

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Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is playing a huge role in Apple's original content creation.
Photo: HBO

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood are coming to Silicon Valley for Apple’s first big event of 2019.

Apple is rumored to be planning a late March keynote where a slew of new services will be unveiled. To help with its pitch to customers, Apple reportedly asked some of the stars from its original TV shows to join the festivities.

Netflix finally makes downloads smarter for iOS users

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Netflix
The Netflix app can now be sure you always have the next episode of your favorite show downloaded.
Photo: Flickr/Stock Catalog

A handy Netflix feature announced last summer has come to iOS at long last: the app can automatically download episodes of your favorite shows.

With Smart Downloads, watching a TV episode offline results in the next episode automatically being transferred as soon as a Wi-Fi connection is available.

Apple staffing up its streaming video service

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Apple TV service facing competition
The rumored Apple TV streaming service for Mac, iPhone, etc. needs people to run it. People who Apple might be hiring already.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is hiring in its media group devoted to audiovisual media. After digging through the company’s job openings in recent months, an analyst believes these new employees are for the anticipated Apple TV streaming service.

This company has been paying to have TV shows and movies produced for months, but has so far kept quiet about its plans. That’s expected to change soon.

Coming-of-age drama Hala jumps from Sundance to Apple

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Geraldine Viswanathan appears in Hala, chosen for the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Geraldine Viswanathan appears in Hala, chosen for the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Photo: Parrish Lewis/Sundance Institute

One of the films making waves at the Sundance FIlm Festival is Hala, about a Muslim teenager’s struggles growing up in America. Apple likes it so much it bought the worldwide rights.

This is one of a growing collection of movies and TV programs that Apple is expected to weave into a streaming TV service.