Apple TV Plus takes new TV shows seriously, just as free trials expire


Apple TV Plus has been touting its lineup of original TV shows for the rest of the year – and that’s pretty impressive. The disclosures are mostly things we already knew, but the busy release schedule shows the streaming service is getting serious and becoming a real contender for Netflix this year.

And, frankly, it has to be.

The timing of this push seems sharp. Apple has just reduced its free in-service subscription that comes with every new device purchase from one year to three months. Meanwhile, some account holders who have enjoyed free trials since the service launched in 2019 are now required to pay for the service, as Apple’s generous extensions on the trial end this month.

In short, it now lessens the service’s reliance on users who enjoy the streamer because they bought a new Apple device – and instead hope consumers will pay for the content forcefully.

So here’s a timeline of what’s happening on TV and in the movies over the next few months, and below we’ll explain what each is if you’re unfamiliar:

  • July 16: Schmigadoon!
  • July 23: Ted Lasso season 2
  • August 13: CODA
  • August 20: Truth Be Told season 2
  • August 27: See season 2
  • September 17: The Morning Show season 2
  • September 24: Foundation
  • October 22: Invasion
  • November 12: The Shrink Next Door

Schmigadoon! is a comedy that’s also a parody of musicals, and it stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jane Krakowski among its familiar faces. Ted Lasso’s Season 2 is the follow-up year to the heartwarming football-centric comedy – quite well timed around the end of the Euro 2020 tournament.

CODA – which means “child of deaf adults” – is a film about the only child who can hear from an otherwise deaf family. Apple reportedly paid around $ 25 million for the rights to the film earlier this year.

Truth Be Told returns for a second season. In case you missed the first one, this is a real police podcaster turned detective, and it stars Octavia Spencer with Kate Hudson. See is the second season of sci-fi drama Jason Momoa, which is about the last surviving humans who lost their sight. The Morning Show is Apple’s flagship news-themed drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and this second season has been a long time coming.

Foundation is something we’ve covered before – it’s a big-budget sci-fi drama from producer David S Goyer (Batman Begins), based on the works of Isaac Asimov. Invasion stars the father of the Jurassic Park movie, Sam Neill, and it’s an alien invasion from the perspective of different people around the world.

Finally, there’s The Shrink Next Door, which brings together the stars of presenter Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, in this black comedy series that adapts a podcast.

That should be a lot to watch, then. But will people want to pay for it?

Will people pay for Apple TV Plus?

Ted Lasso’s release schedule, as many extended trial subscriptions expire, is a smart move by Apple. Several of the service’s series have received acclaim, like The Morning Show or the detailed alternative space drama For All Mankind, but it looks like Ted Lasso has reached the next level of cultural impact.

It’s probably the closest service to a Stranger Things or The Mandalorian right now – and it’s exactly the kind of series people are likely to pay to access.

According to research firm MoffettNathan (via Variety) In a January report, 62% of the service’s subscribers were watching it through the extended free trial. Still, the very reasonable price of the service – $ 4.99 / £ 4.99 / AU $ 7.99 – means you won’t have to break the bank to experience the tastiest shows above. However, it’s all about the cumulative cost with streaming services and the price tag to pay to keep track of everything.

If you get Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney Plus, for example, do you really want to add an extra $ 5 a month to that? Time will tell us.

Apple, at least, has deep pockets to continue competing in a crowded market.


About Shelley Hales

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