Apple announced three new subscription services, including a TV service, gaming bundle, and all-you-can-read magazine subscription on Monday at its campus in Cupertino, California. Apple also announced an Apple-branded credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs.
Apple stock was down almost 2 percent during intraday trading on Monday after the event.
The iPhone giant is focusing on subscription services at a critical time for the company as it searches for new areas of revenue growth to compensate for stalling iPhone sales.
“We’ve also been creating a growing collection of world-class services, and that’s what today is all about,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Monday.
Investors and analysts say that Apple’s services business, which includes revenue from the App Store and licensing fees in addition to monthly subscriptions, is going to drive the majority of revenue growth over the next few years.
Some details of TV service announced, but no price
Apple announced a new service for streaming online video called Apple TV+.
Apple’s new TV app will soon enable users to subscribe to individual streaming services, such as HBO Go or Starz, and watch shows or sports through Apple’s TV app, a feature called Apple TV Channels, which will launch in May.
When users subscribe to a channel, they are able to browse all shows made by that channel inside Apple’s TV app, instead of in the service’s individual app.
Channels confirmed by Apple include HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, and Smithsonian Channel. Apple did not announce pricing for any channel.
Apple TV+, a separate service, will include original video content produced by Apple. Apple has been associated with 34 different TV and movie productions, according to a tally from Goldman Sachs.
The second half of Apple’s launch event on Monday included a long series of Hollywood celebrities attached to Apple productions — including Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carrell, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston —discussing their upcoming shows.
Apple’s original content will be available to consumers in the fall. It’s a subscription service, which suggests a monthly fee, but Apple did not mention a price.
The Apple TV app is compatible with iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes. Support for Mac computers is due in the fall, Apple said, and the new service launches in May.
Apple also said that people with select TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio as well as set-top boxes from Roku and Amazon will be able to download an Apple TV app.
A news package
On Monday, Apple announced a new paid tier of the Apple News app called Apple News+ that includes magazine content for $9.99 per month in the United States and $12.99 per month in Canada.
Some banner features in the new paid tier include layouts specifically designed for a phone, including covers that subtly move, as well as other design and layout features. Users can access full current and past issues.
Apple highlighted several magazines in its new paid tier, including Wired, Popular Science, National Geographic and Essence. Apple News+ also includes access to Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal content. Apple said that the subscription includes over 300 magazines.
One of the service’s new selling points is privacy. Apple said that it won’t let advertisers track its Apple News+ users.
Apple is offering a month-long free trial to the service, which will become available to Apple users in May.
A titanium credit card
Apple also said on Monday it would release its own credit card, called Apple Card. The physical card itself is made out of titanium.
“We saw an opportunity to transform another fundamental form of payment, and that’s the credit card,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
The Apple Card will show how much users have spent and when payment is due inside the iPhone’s Wallet app. The app will track spending by category, and will provide a more detailed version of transaction history that integrates with Apple Maps. The card also has several rewards incentives, which Apple calls “daily cash.”
Apple said that customer service, such as changing an address, would be handled through a text message bot.
“Our goal with Apple card is to provide each customer with an interest rate which is the lowest in the industry,” Apple VP of internet services Jennifer Bailey said. Apple said the card did not have late fees or annual fees.
The Apple Card uses the Mastercard network, and is operated by Goldman Sachs, Apple said. Neither Apple nor Goldman Sachs will use personal data for advertising, Apple said.
Apple’s game bundle: Apple Arcade
Apple also announced a new bundle of video games, called Apple Arcade. A single subscription will provide access to more than 100 games, all of which are exclusive to Apple devices.
New games will be added regularly, and Apple Arcade games will be available to play without an internet connection after they are downloaded.
The gaming bundle will be available to customers this fall, Apple said. Games include new titles from companies including Konami, Cartoon Network, Sega and Lego. It will also include indie titles from creators including Will Wright, the inventor of SimCity.
Apple did not reveal a price for its gaming bundle.