With Apple, it’s always a guessing game as to what it will (and won’t) announce at its events, and the rumor mill sometimes has trouble keeping up. As recently as two days ago, observers were running with the idea that Apple would be taking the wraps off its updated news service at an event scheduled for March 25. No new devices were expected to be revealed, but now it’s quite possible the event could include the launch of the company’s video-streaming service too, according to a report by Bloomberg, which claims that A-list celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and director J.J. Abrams have been invited by Apple to attend.
The report goes on to offer some more details around the streaming service itself, which will apparently bear similarities to both Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. According to Bloomberg, it will “include TV shows and movies either acquired or funded by Apple. The company has created dozens of original programs so far, but hasn’t wrapped them in a subscription yet. The paid service will launch by the summer, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans.”
The fact that Apple has been mulling the creation of its own video-streaming service has been widely reported in the past, so we’re not surprised at all that it has finally decided to launch it. The video-streaming space has been evolving rapidly over the past 12 to 18 months, with new services and changes to existing ones being announced regularly. Earlier this week, MGM debuted its own streaming plus live TV offering, Epix Now, and the week before, FuboTV announced it had become the second live TV streaming service to be integrated into Apple’s TV app.
The real question is how will Apple differentiate itself in this crowded and highly competitive space? It has been investing in original content, which will help attract viewers for sure, but it will have a hard time matching Netflix’s pace — the streaming giant is reportedly spending upwards of $15 billion in 2019 on its original efforts, which was enough to make Walmart cancel its own streaming service plans.
We think the answer to that question may lie in the details of a recently published Apple patent, which describes an entirely new way for viewers to engage with video content of every kind — from live TV, to on-demand, to purchasing and pay-per-view. If such an experience is in the cards for the March 25 event, it might be the most significant announcement from Apple in years.
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