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Apple dives into original content, subscription

On the kids side, the techco has a new Sesame Workshop series on coding, a subscription gaming app and a kids streaming zone.
March 25, 2019

Apple is set to roll out a new subscription gaming service, TV aggregator as well as a host of original content programming for its upcoming Apple TV+ service.

Apple TV+ and the gaming service will be available this fall in more than 100 countries without any ads. It is a subscription service, though the price was not announced. All content will be downloadable and new series and movies will be added every month.

Up first for the kids content on Apple TV+ was Sesame Workshop’s first show for the techco entitled Helpsters set to star a puppet named Cody. The series will follow a group of characters who help their friends with lots of problems by using coding. It will also include music and dancing.

The Apple TV app currently includes 150 streaming apps, but the revamped service will expand to include any movies that could previously be purchased on iTunes. It will also includes cable channels all bundled into the app, for individual subscriptions, including Spectrum, DirecTV, Optimum, Hulu, PlayStation and Fubo. On top of that, Apple TV channels will be available including the kids channels Nick Hits and Noggin from Nickelodeon. There’s no word yet on how Apple originals and the subscription aggregator will be integrated.

Apple TV will expand where it’s available to work on Roku and Amazon Fire TV as well as smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG and Vizio. Currently available in 10 countries, the new service will expand to more than 100.

The new look also has a kids experience, which Cindy Lin, the director of program management, showed off with Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street and PAW Patrol. It looks similar to Netflix’s kids zone where all of the content has been rated to be appropriate for young audiences.

The subscription gaming service, called Apple Arcade, includes exclusive, original games from developers such as Disney, LEGO and Cartoon Network. The price has not yet been announced, but the service is set to roll out in fall 2019 in 150 countries with no ads or additional purchases. A show reel for Arcade showed that there will be new Sonic the Hedgehog and Frogger games.

Ann Tye, the senior marketing manager of the App Store, made the announcement and said that the new games would include immersive augmented reality and multi-player games that go beyond what is usually available in the App Store. All will be available on iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV—and are available offline.

Apple’s kids content efforts are being led by Tara Sorensen, as head of creative development, children. Previously she served as head of kids programming at Amazon Studios, and before that she has been both a VP at Sony Pictures Family Entertainment and National Geographic Kids Entertainment. Alongside her is Kristen McGregor, a creative development executive of children’s programming. McGregor has been a producer Sinking Ship’s The Giver and Universal Kids’ Sunny Side Up.

The SVOD has previously announced a partnership with Sesame Workshop to develop live-action and animated shows, and a series based on puppets. It also teamed up with DHX to create new exclusive Peanuts content.

About The Author
Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at awhyte@brunico.com

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