September 23, 2019

Apple TV Plus Is Just $5. Will People Pay for It?

In effect, Apple is hoping customers will part with $5 a month for the same reason they pay for premium cable channels like HBO or Showtime. But that pitch was easier to make in the days before streaming, when there was a stark difference between what viewers could find on basic cable channels and the broadcast networks. Now there are more shows — and a greater variety of shows — than ever before.

To prepare for the Nov. 1 debut, the company created an entertainment arm from scratch, installing the Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg as top executives. The division has spent well over $1 billion to develop more than a dozen shows, cutting checks to Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon and J. J. Abrams.

One of Apple TV Plus’s marquee programs, “The Morning Show,” a drama set in the world of morning television, stars Ms. Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell. “See,” a fantasy, features Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard. There is also “Dickinson,” a quirky comedy with Hailee Steinfeld and Jane Krakowski in lead roles that puts a contemporary spin on the poet Emily Dickinson. Children’s programming includes a “Peanuts” series.

Apple said it planned to roll out new shows each month, including a thriller from the director M. Night Shyamalan and a series starring Octavia Spencer. In the not too distant future, it will have a slate big enough to rival networks that have been in the business for decades.

The first hurdle will be the reaction of critics and social media users.

Then comes awards season.

Apple’s first shows will be eligible for the 2020 Golden Globe Awards; nominees will be announced Dec. 9. If Apple is able to storm the Golden Globes stage at the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 5, any remaining Hollywood skeptics will have no choice but to consider the tech upstart a major player in entertainment.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/business/media/apple-tv-plus-price.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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