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Apple Prices TV+ Video Service at $4.99 a Month, Hitting Netflix

Mark Gurman

(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. said its TV+ original video subscription service will launch Nov. 1 for $4.99 a month, undercutting the price of rival offerings.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant made the announcement at a Tuesday event focused on new versions of the iPhone. The service will be free for one year with purchases of new Apple devices, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on stage.

The TV+ service is entering a crowded field that already includes Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Hulu and AT&T Inc.’s HBO. In November, Walt Disney Co. plans to launch a Disney+ streaming service, with a giant catalog of titles, for $6.99 a month. Netflix’s entry-level subscription is $8.99 a month in the U.S.

Netflix and Disney shares fell after the announcement on Tuesday, while Apple stock climbed.

Apple is pushing into services to generate extra revenue from its large base of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch users. Consumers have been slower to replace hardware recently due to higher prices, market saturation, economic headwinds and a lack of new, breakthrough features.

Apple’s TV+ service, first previewed in March with Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and other stars, will lack a large back catalog and instead focus on original movies and TV shows. Still, some analysts have suggested Apple TV+ could top 100 million subscribers in the next half-decade, which would make it a major challenger to Netflix and Amazon.

Apple’s pricing undercuts the cost of its other digital services, such as Apple Music and Apple News+.

Apple TV+ will launch with a slew of titles, Apple said, including Dickinson and The Morning Show. At its event, Apple showed a trailer for See with Jason Momoa.

The service is available in the TV app that is pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, Apple TVs, and soon Macs. It will integrate with the Apple TV Channels service, which lets users subscribe to other providers like HBO, STARZ, and Showtime individually.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at mgurman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Molly Schuetz

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