The streaming wars are heating up with the debut on Friday of AppleTV+, a new online TV service from Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL). 

The tech behemoth’s entry into the crowded market launched on Friday with the promise of original content backed by some big-name personalities such as Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Aniston. 

Unlike its rivals Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon Prime from Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), AppleTV+ does not own the rights to back catalogs of third-party content, meaning the service will rely on in-house programming and marquee talent to lure in subscribers. 

READ: Apple shares jump after iPhone maker posts 4Q revenue and earnings beats

A monthly subscription to Apple TV+ will cost US$4.99 and C$5.99 in Canada. Those who buy a new Apple device get a free one-year subscription. 

The Cupertino-based company will see its competitive mettle tested later this year with the launch of Disney+, The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DIS) entrance into the fray. 

In an interview with Reuters this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he “welcomed” more competition in the streaming world as it will encourage more people to cut the cable cord and seek out digital entertainment platforms. 

AppleTV+ launches in more than 100 countries and territories with four TV series for adults, an episode of “Oprah’s Book Club,” a nature documentary, and three children’s series. Additional programming will be added each month. 

Shares of Apple gained 1.5% in the US at US$252.44 on Friday morning. 

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