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Apple Announces Streaming TV Service And New Products

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey - those are just some of the big-name celebrities called in to help Apple announce new products yesterday. Among those products - a long-awaited streaming TV service called Apple TV Plus. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans has been taking a look.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Oprah Winfrey made Apple's presentation sound less like a list of new products and more like a social renaissance.

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OPRAH WINFREY: We have this unique opportunity to rise to our best selves in how we choose to use both our technology and our humanity.

DEGGANS: There was lots of ambitious talk like this on Monday. Winfrey spoke of uniting minds through her new book club, which will be streamed across Apple platforms. Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the Apple News Plus subscription service by talking about the power of journalism to change the world. Its mobile-first credit card, called the Apple Card, and its new gaming subscription, Apple Arcade, were also hailed as revolutionary. But it was the company's TV services, including an upgraded TV app and its new Apple TV Plus streaming service, which got the most attention.

Apple TV Plus allows customers to buy only the channels they want from a list that includes HBO and BritBox. And the service will feature original shows, like a new version of Spielberg's "Amazing Stories," and a scripted show on morning TV starring Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Most new TV platforms take a while to find their direction, but Apple has already spent many millions on new content before the general public has seen much of anything. Their goal seems to be creating an ecosystem of Apple-centered services which keeps customers inside the corporate family. CEO Cook drew applause when he stressed one important quality for how Apple's apps handle user information - like viewing habits.

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TIM COOK: They're designed to keep your personal information private and secure.

(APPLAUSE)

DEGGANS: Most presentations Monday were short on details. No price was revealed for Apple TV Plus, which is expected to debut this fall.

Eric Deggans, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.