Apple is expected to launch its long-awaited video streaming service this April, according to reports.
Reuters said this week the new service will be announced by the iPhone maker at an event on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in California.
Apple has characteristically declined to comment on the report, but its plans for a video streaming service are believed to be well advanced. First mention of the proposed service came to light way back in 2017 when the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was looking to spend $1 billion on original content for the platform. The Information reported last year that it expected the service to launch in the first half of 2019.
The service will combine Apple’s original content with existing streaming services, which can be viewed in an iOS TV application, similarly to Amazon’s Prime Video Channels. Apparently, Apple wants to simplify video streaming by housing content in a single application, rather than have people pay for individual services and use a variety of different apps.
Apple’s launch partners are said to include Starz, CBS and Viacom, which will all offer content on Apple’s platform, Reuters reported.
The HBO network may also be a partner, but negotiations on this haven’t been finalised yet, Reuters added. Apple is reportedly demanding a 30 percent cut on every fee paid by its customers to subscribe to over-the-top video services through its platform. That’s significantly more than the current 15 percent fee it obtains from customers who sign up to Netflix, HBO Now and other streaming apps via its iTunes store.
HBO is apparently holding out, asking for similar terms to what Amazon is paying for its content, Reuters’ sources said.
Notably, Netflix will not be partnering with Apple’s new streaming service, Reuters added.
Further information about Apple’s planned original content is scarce at this time, but the company has reportedly signed up big name stars including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and JJ Abrams for some of its titles.