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Apple to launch a free TV streaming service in more than 100 countries next year

Apple TV Shows

Apple’s plans for the TV space are finally starting to crystallize a bit. While it remains to be seen just how much content Apple is offering up and what type of quality its slate of original programming will bring to the table, we now have a better idea of what the official roll out is going to look like. According to a new report from The Information, Apple is planning to launch its original TV programming across more than 100 countries sometime during the first few months of 2019.

Corroborating previous reports we’ve seen, Apple’s nascent TV service will be available as a free service to iOS users. While a subscription tier might be a possibility way down the line, it’s clear that Apple appreciates just how much catching up it has to do in the TV space. Consequently, offering up its TV originals for free is seemingly the right approach here.

One potential hurdle Apple may encounter centers on the company’s desire to shy away from R-rated content involving explicit sex scenes, drug use, and violence. As The Wall Street Journal detailed late last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year axed Vital Signs — a show about Dr. Dre’s life on account of what he deemed to be objectionable content.

“Apple’s entertainment team must walk a line few in Hollywood would consider,” the Journal reported. “Since Mr. Cook spiked ‘Vital Signs,’ Apple has made clear, say producers and agents, that it wants high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal, but it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.”

Interestingly enough, Apple’s approach here effectively means that the company would shy away from award-winning content such as HBO’s The Sopranos and Game of Thrones. All the same, if the programming is made available as a free service, it’s not as if consumers will really have much to complain about.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.