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Apple expected to unveil TV service this March

Updated 16-3-19 | 10:18 AM | Staff Reporter

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Apple is expected to unveil its TV streaming service this March, with a new event scheduled for later this month.

“It’s show time” is the tag line for the event, which will take place on Monday 25th March, and that’s been interpreted as a cryptic nod to the tech giant’s upcoming VOD platform. Expected to arrive this year at an unknown date, the service is likely to launch in 100 countries worldwide, in a move to rival both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – and, with a large customer base already in place, Apple has the potential to win over a lot of viewers, whether a subscription fee is charged or not.

Apple has wasted no time in lining up content for its service, with around $1 billion spent on original shows to date, including a morning TV drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, a reboot of Spielberg’s Amazon Stories and a series from La La Land director Damien Chazelle. It is also expected to offer an all-in-one subscription on its Apple TV device for a range of streaming apps, although the included third party apps are yet to be confirmed and any availability outside of the US is still up in the air.

The prospects seem strong, with Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives forecasting this week that it could reach up to 100 million subscribers in five years, closing the gap with its VOD rivals.

“The company is definitely playing from behind the eight ball in this content arms race with Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Hulu, and AT&T / WarnerMedia all going after this next consumer frontier investing significantly more dollars ($20 billion combined and counting per annum) on content,” Ives noted (via Deadline).

“While acquisitions have not been in Apple’s core DNA, the clock has struck midnight for Cupertino,” he added. “Building content organically is a slow and arduous path, which highlights the clear need for Apple to do larger, strategic M&A.”

He reportedly suggested that Apple may well buy a movie studio or similar production powerhouse, such as A24 or Lionsgate.

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