Apple today announced Apple TV Channels — an a la carte solution that'll live inside the Apple TV app. It also announced Apple TV+ — Apple's ad-free subscription streaming service with original content. And Oprah.

Apple TV Channels, as an idea, is the same as it's ever been. You can watch what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, and not have to pay for things you don't want.

At least in theory.

The problem with this sort of thing is the same as it's always been. It's great if the things you want to watch are in the app. And it's worthless for things that aren't.

And those are not little things. Netflix, for instance, isn't part of this new way forward. Sure, you can continue to watch Netflix from within the Netflix app — and that's the only way you'll be able to watch Netflix on Apple TV. It's not part of the Apple TV Channels. And it's certainly not the only service that hasn't fully given itself over to the Apple behemoth.

Apple TV Channels will be available with a software update in May. And it'll be coming to Macs in the fall.

And in a surprisingly unsurprising move, Apple TV Channels will be available on smart TVs from Sony, LG, Vizio and Samsung — all of which will be blessed with AirPlay 2 support.

Unexpected, though, was the news that the Apple TV app also will be coming to Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices.

Left out? Android TV.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+, on the other hand? Well. ...

It was announced with a lengthy black-and-white short full of some of your famous filmmakers and actors. Spielberg. Howard. Abrams. M. Night Shyamalan. Octavia Spencer. In exactly the dramatic fashion you'd expect from this sort of thing.

And when the studio rain cleared and the lights came back up? Steven Spielberg came on sage. And he went on for minutes about things he's always wanted to do. And he'll be doing it for Apple, on Apple TV+. Which is interesting considering how he railed against Netflix being up for an Oscar.

Then it was time for Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. ... And Steve Carell. All talking up The Morning Show, which also will be on Apple TV+.

Next? Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard talking up their show, Sea. It's about blindness and the sea or something.

After that? Kumail Nanjiani telling his own story of coming to America — much of which we've had the pleasure of hearing outside of Apple events. But of course he ended up talking about his show, Little America, which will tell the stories of immigrants in America. The majority of the writers and directors are either immigrants themselves, or are the children of immigrants.

And then? Muppets.


The folks behind Sesame Street are bringing Helpsters to AppleTV+. Aimed at preschoolers, it's going to get young children interested in coding at a young age. At a very young age. Plus, "cool music and funky dance moves."

It's tough for anyone to follow muppets, but if anyone can do it it's director J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles — you know her as a musician and actress, of course — and they're teaming up for a show, too. She then took to the piano to play the theme song for Little Voice.

And, finally, there was Oprah. (You knew she was coming, right?) Her series Toxic Labor will focus on problems in the workplace — harassment and otherwise. She's also got another unnamed, multi-part series will focus on mental health. And, of course, she's got an Apple TV+ book club.

The big news? Apple TV+ will be available in more than 100 countries this fall. It'll be an ad-free experience. But — Apple didn't give a price for the service.