Apple has launched a new service called Apple Channels that will allow users to watch premium TV channels like HBO, Starz and Showtime, according to a report by CNBC.
The service is available as an update to iPhones, iPads and Apple TV, and it will allow customers in upwards of 100 countries to access premium channels. However, each channel needs to be paid for separately, and all of them together would cost about $97 a month.
Apple didn’t disclose how much money it’s going to make from each subscriber who signs up, but some analysts believe the company is pushing for 30 percent, and others think it gets about 15 percent of revenue from HBO and Netflix subscribers.
Apple reported revenue for its services division as $11.45 billion in a second quarter earnings report released on April 30, which was ahead of analysts' predictions.
Apple’s focus on its services division is a way for it to continue earning revenue while sales in its hardware even out. The new service is not the promised Apple TV+ initiative, which will include original programming from the company and launch later in the fall.
The service does have a new TV app that highlights new and popular shows from all around the entertainment ecosphere. The service will also keep viewers within the app when they watch a show. The potential downside to it is that if a viewer pays for a service like HBO Now through the Apple Channels app, they won’t be able to watch it on any other platform.
There’s an option in the new service to download shows or movies and save them for viewing offline without an internet connection, which helps differentiate the app from the likes of HBO and Showtime.
There is no option to bundle services, however, and after a free trial period, users will have to pay for each service separately.