We May Finally See Apple’s Streaming Service and Netflix Rival Very Soon

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Photo: Bebeto Matthews (AP)

We may finally get Apple’s long-awaited streaming service in mere months. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the company plans to (finally) introduce us to its video streaming competitor to Netflix at a March 25 event.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the event has invited several high-profile celebrities and entertainment industry heavyweights attached to its projects, including filmmaker J.J. Abrams and actor Jennifer Garner, who are working together for Apple’s limited series My Glory Was I Had Such Friends. The video service will “likely” be baked into Apple’s TV app, Bloomberg said, and could see an official release over the summer.

According to the report, Apple will also allow users to purchase access to other services like Starz through the platform, much like Amazon Prime Video does. But whether other streaming giants will be included is yet to be seen. CNBC separately reported Wednesday that discussions between HBO and Apple aren’t close to reaching an agreement, while Netflix and Hulu likely aren’t going to be included on the streaming service. Additionally, per CNBC’s report:

Lions Gate’s Starz; CBS, which owns Showtime; and Viacom are expected to offer subscription streaming services on the Apple platform, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

While Bloomberg had the streaming service’s launch pegged to summer, CNBC said that Apple may be eyeing a release in April or May. The Information reported last month that Apple’s streaming service partners were told to prep for a release in April, citing three sources familiar with its plan.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment about the reports.

Aside from its Garner and Abrams reunion with My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, which is based on Amy Silverstein’s memoir of the same name, Apple is pouring resources into several other anticipated original projects as well. Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray are teaming up for A24 production On the Rocks, which is part of Apple’s deal with the indie darling for multiple forthcoming films (which, hell yes). Apple is also expected to release a sci-fi series from Simon Kinberg and David Weil.

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed News reported Tuesday that Apple’s subscription news service is also anticipated to be unveiled at the March 25 event. However, the so-called “Netflix for news” is reportedly facing hurdles will securing partnerships, the Wall Street Journal said, because of the exorbitantly high cut to the tune of 50 percent that Apple is reportedly trying to secure in the deals.

[Bloomberg via The Verge]

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