Apple is gearing up to be a strong competitor against streaming giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. In addition to its slew of forthcoming original titles, the Apple streaming service is currently negotiating with high-profile cable networks HBO, Showtime, and Starz to feature their shows and movies on its platform. With most of Apple’s star-studded originals still early in development, these potential deals would allow the service to draw new subscribers in with the help of established libraries from content partners. Read more about the Apple streaming service networks negotiations below.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is currently courting HBO, Showtime, and Starz ahead of Apple’s anticipated subscription video service unveiling at an event on March 25.
The company is expected to reach a deal with all three networks by Friday, taking Apple one step closer to its end goal of being a one-stop-shop for digital media and entertainment. The service is already set to allow users to watch cable news channels, according to CNBC. In addition, Apple’s streaming service will reportedly launch with a “media bundle” that will come with video streaming, Apple Music, and the Texture news app, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.
There is no official price tag on the Apple streaming service yet, but a Jefferies analyst predicted it’ll cost just $15 to gain access to the full library once it’s released. With the addition of premium cable channels to that package, that would be one of the best streaming platform deals today — Amazon Prime costs roughly $12.99 per month for its service with additional fees for cable network partners, while Hulu and Netflix feature various original and external titles for a couple bucks cheaper. Hulu currently allows its content to be listed in the Apple TV app, but that’s as far as the company will work with Apple, according to The Verge. Netflix no longer allows its customers to sign up directly from its iOS app.
These deals, which are currently in the final stages of negotiating over user experience and marketing, could prove critical to Apple’s streaming service in the early days of its launch, as most of its star-studded original titles will not be ready by the time the service has its first look on March 25. Aside from a few reports of stars and synopses, the shows and movies are still relatively veiled in mystery, though the first batch of shows will likely be officially announced at Apple’s March 25 event. But when the service makes its debut, the majority of TV shows and movies will likely be from third parties, with the exception of some of Apple’s already existing content like Carpool Karaoke: The Series.
So far, at least 18 shows have been sold or are already in production, but expect to hear more on March 25, 2019.
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