Apple is getting ready to showcase plans for new video and news products, but it is still has to complete deals with Hollywood studios.
The company will host a Cupertino event on March 25 to outline how it will take on competitors like Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. Apple plans to unveil a streaming service and magazine subscription bundle, and could preview additional Apple Pay features, laying the groundwork for an iPhone credit-card partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
However, according to Bloomberg's sources, the company is racing to secure movies and TV shows to offer alongside its own original videos and is offering concessions to get deals done by a Friday deadline. Pay-TV programmers such as HBO, Showtime and Starz have to decide whether Apple is a threat, as some now view Netflix, a potential partner or something in between.
Besides pursuing augmented reality and self-driving car technology, Apple is looking for ways to increase its revenue faster through services. Apple forecasts such sales will top $50 billion a year by 2021. Last year, services brought in $39.7 billion, up 33 percent.
Apple's video service, which will likely be integrated into the iPhone, iPad and set-top box’s TV app, will include shows funded, bought or developed by Apple, and programming from outside media companies. The company is talking with AT&T Inc., the owner of HBO; CBS Corp. and its Showtime network; Starz, the premium cable channel owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; and others.
The current Apple TV app already lets customers access services like HBO. But shoppers who buy those individually are kicked to the networks’ respective apps to view shows and movies.
Apple also plans to unveil its magazine service, which 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.
The iOS 12.2 software update also sets the stage for an iPhone-connected credit card partnership with Goldman Sachs by tweaking the look of Apple Pay in the Wallet app.