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Published on March 13th, 2019 | by Brad Gibson

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Apple scrambling to finish deals for streaming TV service announcement March 25

13 days until a star-studded event to announce partners and shows for its planned streaming video service and magazine bundle, Apple reportedly is scrambling to get additional participants in the venture.

Bloomberg reports Apple is “racing” to secure movies and TV shows from partner companies ahead of the March 25th event. According to people familiar with the matter, Apple is offering concessions to partners in order to get deals done by a Friday deadline, so as to not be embarrassed by a small number of partners for the venture. Among those still not totally on board to offer their services through a new premium TV app subscription model include HBO, Showtime, and Starz, the report said.

“At least a couple deals” are expected to close by Friday, the story said, but it is unclear if Apple will get all the programming from outside media companies that it wants for its streaming service. 

“HBO, Showtime and Starz are among the most-popular premium cable TV networks and all expect to reach a deal with the company,” Bloomberg quotes sources as saying. “But they’re still haggling over various points, including marketing, promotion and the user experience.”

The Bloomberg report claims that most of the shows and movies on the streaming service at launch will be from outside partners, not Apple’s own shows, so the company is attempting to ensure that there is plenty of content to entice customers to check the service out. 

Bloomberg reports Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told employees in January how critical third-party services are to the company’s future.

Recent rumors have suggested the video service will be similar to the premium TV app subscription model started by Amazon and mirrored by Roku that lets consumers sign up with various services – or ‘channels’ – then viewed and streamed through a device like Apple TV. Additional rumors are that Apple’s own original content will be part of the service and could be made available for free to those with an Apple TV and other Apple portable devices.

For its streaming service, Apple has more than 18 original television shows in the works, and it has signed a deal to produce movies with the Oscar-winning studio A24 Films.

While video will be the centerpiece of Apple’s announcement — as acknowledged by the “It’s show time” title on the invitation, the company also plans to unveil its magazine service. The new offering, which Apple employees have been testing for months, will allow consumers to subscribe to a bundle of magazines and newspapers. It’s a similar offering to the app Texture, which Apple acquired about a year ago.

Magazines will become a key part of the Apple News app, which is being redesigned with a new icon as part of the iOS 12.2 software update that’s also expected to be announced at the event.

 

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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