The tech giant Apple Inc. is targeting March 25 for the launch of a streaming television service that will likely include subscription TV service. Apple often launches products and services in the weeks following an event.
However, Apple did not specify the focus of the event and gave a single-line description: “It’s show time.”
Apple has long hinted at a planned video service, spending $2 billion in Hollywood to produce its own content and signing major stars such as Oprah Winfrey. Sources familiar with the matter earlier told Reuters that the service may resell subscriptions from CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s Starz among others, as well as Apple’s own original content.
The TV service, the firm’s ambitious move to rival services from Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video. Apple’s App Store, where the service is likely to be distributed, is currently available in more than 100 countries.
Apple is also in discussions with HBO, part of AT&T Inc-owned WarnerMedia, to become part of the service and it could yet make it in time for the launch.
The company is expected to update its iPads or Apple TV devices later this month, the event is likely to be Apple’s first major media event in which hardware is not the primary focus, said Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies.
That is a radical change for Apple, which earlier this year moved to make its Apple Music services work on smart speakers from rivals such as Amazon and partnered with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to let Samsung television owners watch video purchased from Apple on Samsung sets.
“I don’t look at that as saying Apple has given up on the (Apple smart speaker) HomePod or the Apple TV – those will be the products where Apple Music or an Apple movie experience work the best,” Bajarin said. “But Apple is smart to not limit the places people can consume their services.”