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Report: Apple TV+ To Launch by November For $9.99 a Month, As Content Budget Grows To $6 Billion

Stephanie Sengwe

It seems this year’s streaming wars keep getting hotter and hotter as new reports are saying that Apple plans to launch Apple TV+ in November, coinciding of course, with the recently announced launch of Disney+ which is slated to come out Nov. 12. Apple hopes to garner 50 million subscribers on their service by 2020.

According to Bloomberg, the company will introduce a small selection of shows and then expand its catalog more frequently over several months. A free trial is likely as Apple builds up its library, according to Bloomberg’s anonymous sources.

Unlike Netflix, which releases entire seasons of shows for audiences to binge-watch, Apple TV+ is considering releasing the first three episodes of a season, then an episode per week thereafter. This model will also differ from other competitors such as HBO and Hulu, who release episodes weekly.

In order to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, which are currently front runners in the streaming space, Apple initially slated an original content of $1 billion. Now, according to the Financial Times, the company has upped that budget to a whopping $6 billion.

Unlike Netflix, which often pays content creators over several years, Apple pays earlier in the production process, once certain milestones are hit, according to people familiar with its approach. Even with the increase in funds however, Apple TV+ still has a long way to go before catching up to Netflix, which currently has a slated budget of $15 billion this year.

Original programming such as The Morning Show—starring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell— as well as See—starring Jason Momoa—are being presented as front runners along with programming from other big names such as Oprah and Steven Spielberg. As it stands, Apple has spent $300 million on the first two seasons of the show, Bloomberg reports. This would make it the most expensive season of television, beating out Game of Thrones which was $120 million for its final season—$15 million per episode.

While pricing for Apple TV+ is still unknown, sources close to the matter say the company is looking to offer the service for $9.99—putting it in direct competition with other newcomers HBO Max which will reportedly be going for the $16.99 to $18.99 price range; as well as Disney+ which offers a bundle package fit with Hulu and a stripped down version of ESPN for $12.99 and goes for $6.99 on its own.

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