Apple TV+ streaming service will launch in the UK this autumn

Mike Wheatley

Apple has finally confirmed its plans to launch a long-rumoured video streaming service to rival Netflix. The new service will be called Apple TV+, and is all set to launch this autumn.


Apple TV+ will be an ad-free subscription service that allows users to stream and watch content online, or download it for viewing offline at a later time. The service will be made available via the Apple TV App, which is currently accessible on all iOS and MacOS devices, and will soon be available to download on a number of compatible Smart TVs as well.

The service is first and foremost billed as a platform for Apple’s own original programmes. The iPhone maker is said to have invested a billion dollars in its original content, which will feature dozens of well known American TV and movie stars. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said during a keynote that he envisages Apple TV+ as “the destination for the highest-quality originals”.

But it’s not only about the original content, for Apple TV+ will also feature films and TV shows from broadcasters including HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS, MUBI, and the new Britbox TV app that’s focused exclusively on UK-produced content.

Apple is clearly trying to take on Netflix with its new service. Netflix, of course, has refused to take part in Apple TV+, most likely because it doesn’t really need to. After all, Netflix boasts more than 139 million subscribers worldwide already, and is growing fast. Netflix also has a much bigger content budget than Apple, and so it will almost certainly hold its position as the pre-eminent video streaming service for some time to come.

Even so, Apple clearly believes it can become a major player and grab at least some of Netflix’s audience. And it’s pulled out all the stops in order to secure the big-name TV talent it needs to do that.

During the keynote various TV personalities took to the stage to discuss the projects they’re working on for Apple TV+. They included Steven Spielberg, who talked about how he’s rebooting his popular 1980s TV series Amazing Stories. Actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and actor Steve Carrell also revealed they’ll host a daily talk show called “The Morning Show”.

Next up on the stage was legendary TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey. She revealed she’s currently working on two exclusive documentaries for Apple TV+ that will focus on sexual harassment in the workplace, and on mental health issues.

Apple said the Apple TV+ service will be available in more than 100 countries when it’s launched in the autumn. There’s no exact release date yet, and pricing details are still being kept under wraps.

The existing Apple TV App, which will be necessary to access Apple TV+, is also being updated. Apple wants the app to be a kind of “one stop shop” for movies and TV shows, housing various video subscriptions under one roof.


The most obvious difference is a newly redesigned interface that will offer personalised recommendations to each user from across the services they’re subscribed too, with various categories of content presented in a menu format that’s similar to Netflix.

Apple said the new app will be made available through a software update to iOS users in May. Mac users will need to wait until the autumn, however. Even better, the app will also be available to download on a range of premium LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio smart TVs within a few weeks. It will also be made available on Roku TV and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, Apple said.