The tech giant teams up with Hollywood luminaries to create a raft of original shows.
Apple on Monday unveiled Apple TV Plus, a place for its new slate of original shows. The new service, billed as a place for the "highest-quality storytelling," will be available in over 100 countries and released starting this fall through the Apple TV app.
It will be ad-free, on-demand and available both streaming online and downloadable. Pricing will be announced this fall.
Apple TV Plus is the company's way of jumping into the streaming-video game, where Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and others have already established themselves and brought in millions of cord-cutter customers fleeing cable subscriptions. The new service also works as a way for Apple to grow its thriving services business, helping it continue to grow despite lagging iPhone sales.
The company in 2017 hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from Sony Pictures Television to oversee "all aspects of video programming." The two were responsible for shows such as Breaking Bad, The Crown and Rescue Me. And in the past year, Apple has continually announced original content it's producing -- including a multiyear partnership deal with Oprah and deals with Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams and dozens of others. The company has reportedly gone well past its original $1 billion budget to bring in this list of movie and television A-listers, who are slated to create about 30 shows and a handful of movies.
The culmination of that work came Monday. In the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters, a rare collection of Hollywood stars took the stage to introduce their new series.
Steven Spielberg led off with his Amazing Stories series. He was followed by Jenifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell talking about The Morning Show, which will delve into relationships between men and women in the workplace. Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard talked about their new drama, called See. The series takes place in a future when the human race has lost its sense of sight.
Kumail Nanjiani introduced his show, called Little America, which he described as "human stories that feature immigrants." Sara Bareilles and J.J. Abrams introduced the romantic comedy Little Voice, and Big Bird helped show off the new kids show Helpsters.
Oprah Winfrey was the last star to take the stage. She told the crowd she's partnering with Apple on two documentaries.
Apple TV Plus was announced along with Apple TV Channels, another new service in the Apple TV app that will let people watch streaming shows, movies and sports in one place without having to use additional apps or accounts. Apple TV Channels and the new Apple TV app will be coming in May.