Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg at the launch of Apple's streaming video service



With plenty of Hollywood stars, Apple unveiled its video plans on Monday along with subscription offers for news and games as part of an effort to shift its focus to digital content and services to break free of its dependence on sales iPhone.

Director Steven Spielberg, TV presenter Oprah Winfrey and Hollywood stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell made appearances at the event that led Apple to compete directly with Netflix and the rest of the entertainment industry.

"We all want to be heard, but we also need to listen … to be able to leverage our hopes and dreams and heal our divisions," Winfrey told a crowded audience at the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple's campus in Silicon Valley.

"That's why I joined forces with Apple. Apple's platform allows me to do what I do, in a whole new way."

The Apple TV + service, a subscription service on demand and without ads, will be launched this year in 100 countries, the company said.


Steve Carrell, Jenniffer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon spoke at the inauguration of Apple's video streaming service (AFP)

"We deeply believe in the power of creativity," said Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook.

"Great stories can change the world. We feel we can contribute something important to our culture and to our society through great stories."

Apple unveiled just a few of the shows to launch but announced that it was working with celebrities from both sides of the camera including Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa and M. Night Shyamalan.

The new content will be available in an updated Apple TV application, which will be on smart TVs and third-party platforms, including Roku and Amazon's Fire TV.

Apple will also allow consumers to subscribe to third-party services, such as HBO and Starz, from the same application. The cost of the service, along with financial deals with creators, were not disclosed.

"These people can go where the money is, but they're going where Apple is," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, about the power of the stars on display at the event.

She hoped Apple TV + would be another channel in her HBO-like video streaming service than being a one-stop-shop that would be independent.

Apple intends to leverage its position with some 900 million people around the world using at least one of its devices. But some have suggested that Apple's path may be harder than anticipated.

"I do not want to know what famous people Apple signed in. I want to know if the annual budget is $ 1 billion or $ 10 billion," tweeted Benedict Evans, a Silicon Valley investor and blogger.

"Getting audience for a TV platform is like orbital mechanics – the only way to get up is to burn more fuel."

While some view Apple's move as a reinvention of the iconic company, analyst Richard Windsor said in his Radio Free Mobile blog that the video service "will probably never be large enough to keep Apple from its long-standing hardware vending addiction."

More than 300 magazines

Meanwhile, a new Apple News + service at a cost of $ 9.99 per month will include the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal, digital news sites and more than 300 magazine titles such as Rolling Stone, Time, National Geographic Wired and The New Yorker.

"We think Apple News + will be great for customers and great for publishers," said Cook.

Apple News + has been released in the US and Canada in English and French and will be available later this year in Britain and Australia, the company said.

Separately, the company said it is launching a new game subscription service called Apple Arcade later this year with at least 100 titles at launch.


Tim Cook emphasized the power of creativity (AFP)

"Apple Arcade will introduce an innovative way to access a collection of new games that will not be available on any other mobile platform or any other subscription service," Apple said in a statement.

The game service will be available in 150 countries, with prices to be announced later.

The move comes as Apple struggles to emphasize digital content and other services to compensate for the retreat from the market for smartphones that have lived the market and many news organizations struggling to monetize their services online.

Selling Privacy

Apple has highlighted privacy and data protection for its new services, responding to consumer concerns about personal information purchased and sold by Silicon Valley companies.

He said advertisers will not be able to keep up with news service subscribers and that Arcade will not have ads, ad tracking or additional purchases.

In additional services, Apple announced that it would offer a credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs to be integrated with Apple Pay.

Subscribers will receive one physical card and one for a digital portfolio, with the two companies agreeing not to share or sell data to third parties for marketing and advertising.

Apple's card features that could shake the credit card industry include not charging fees, giving users money back on purchases, and providing tools for people to better manage their debts.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the NDTV team and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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