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Apple's New TV News Video Gaming Credit Card Services
March 25 2019 - Apple Unveils Subscription Video, News, Gaming Services At Glitzy Event By Investors Business Daily
Apple (AAPL) on Monday introduced subscription services for video, news and games, as well as its own credit card. Apple stock sank on the news, which mostly leaked ahead of the company's star-studded launch event.
On the stock market today, Apple stock dipped 1.2% to 188.74. Last week, Apple stock jumped over its 200-day moving average line in anticipation of the launch event. It closed below that line on Monday.
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the company's premium streaming video service called Apple TV+. Apple brought major star power to its event, with Hollywood creatives on hand to discuss their upcoming shows.
Among the celebrities promoting new Apple shows included producer Oprah Winfrey and directors Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams. Others touting shows included actresses Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Alfre Woodard; actors Steve Carell, Jason Momoa and Kumail Nanjiani; and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. Sesame Street character Big Bird helped tout a new children's program for the service.
'A Billion Pockets, Y'All'
Winfrey plans to make documentaries about important social issues for Apple. They include programs on sexual harassment in the workplace and mental health, she said.
Apple's huge installed base of users played a big part in Winfrey's desire to work with Apple.
"They're in a billion pockets, y'all," she said. "A billion pockets."
Pricing Not Announced For Video Service
Apple TV+ will be available through the Apple TV app. The on-demand subscription service will be available in 100-plus countries starting this fall. Apple did not announce pricing for the service.
"This is just a sneak peak, the beginning of something truly exciting," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said at the event.
Apple also announced a new feature of the Apple TV app called Channels. This feature will offer an easy way for users to subscribe to third-party services like HBO and Showtime.
The latest Apple TV app will be available on Apple devices and soon on smart TVs from Samsung, LG and others. The app also will be available on Roku (ROKU) and Amazon (AMZN) Fire TV devices.
Apple Joins Crowded Streaming Video Market
The Apple streaming video service joins an increasingly crowded market. Existing players include Netflix (NFLX), Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and CBS (CBS), to name a few. Coming soon are direct-to-consumer video services from Walt Disney (DIS), AT&T's (T) WarnerMedia and Comcast's (CMCSA) NBCUniversal.
The Apple video venture also comes as consumers are reporting subscription video fatigue. A recent survey by Deloitte found that nearly half (47%) of consumers are frustrated by the growing number of subscriptions and services required to watch what they want.
"With more than 300 over-the-top video options in the U.S., coupled with multiple subscriptions and payments to track and justify, consumers may be entering a time of 'subscription fatigue,'" Kevin Westcott, leader of Deloitte's U.S. telecom, media and entertainment segment, said in a news release March 19.
Apple Launches Subscription News Service
At Apple's "It's Show Time" event, the company also detailed other services. The event lasted 110 minutes and took place at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
Apple announced a subscription service called Apple News+, which leverages its acquisition of Texture. The service will bundle digital magazines and newspapers into a single plan.
The service will include over 300 magazines spanning lifestyle, entertainment, fashion and other subjects. Apple News+ also includes digital-only publications and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. The service will cost $9.99 a month, with the first month free. Apple is making the service available for family sharing.
"We believe in the power of journalism and the value it can have on our lives," Cook said.
Apple Gets Into Credit Card Business
Apple also announced a digital credit card called Apple Card, which will debut this summer. It will be accepted in retail stores wherever Apple Pay is offered. It will be part of the company's digital wallet initiative for the iPhone.
Apple Card will offer 2% cash back on purchases. Cardholders will get 3% cash back on Apple device purchases. Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs (GS) as its issuing bank and Mastercard (MA) for its global payment network.
Plus, Apple will offer a titanium physical card for places where Apple Pay isn't accepted.
Apple Debuts Subscription Gaming Service
Apple introduced a subscription video game service called Apple Arcade. The service will offer over 100 new and exclusive games. The games can be played on all Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Macs and Apple TV.
Unlike streaming gaming services, Apple Arcade games will be playable offline as well. It will be available this fall, with pricing details still to come.
First Apple Event Dedicated To Services
Monday's spectacle marks the first time Apple has held a launch event devoted to its services business. The fast-growing services segment is helping to offset declining iPhone sales at the consumer electronics giant.
Last week, Apple updated several hardware product lines to clear its plate for the services event. It unveiled its second-generation AirPods wireless earbuds, as well as new iPad tablets and iMac desktop computers.
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