Apple is planning to unveil its streaming video service and magazine subscription platform at an international launch on March 25, marking the first major digital plays from the company since 2015.
Apple's paid streaming video service, expected to launch mid-year, will go head to head with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and and 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.
Apple has been working on its streaming video service for a number of years under the guidance of former Sony Pictures executives Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht.
The content is likely to be integrated into Apple’s TV app on iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. Along with an Apple subscription, there will be some free content.
Users will also be able to pay to access shows from other providers, such as Starz, as is possible with Amazon’s video service. Today, Apple offers a handful of free shows, such as Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps.
An updated Apple News app will gain a Magazines tab – similar to the app Texture, which Apple acquired last year – letting consumers subscribe to a bundle of magazine titles for a monthly fee. Final details are still being worked out, and Apple’s plans could change. An Apple spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The magazine subscription service, which has been in testing with Apple employees for months, will launch as part of an iOS 12.2 update scheduled for release in northern spring.
With iPhone sales slowing, Apple is turning to digital services to keep revenue growing. Apple Music is already a hit with more than 50 million subscribers. Wall Street is speculating that the company will eventually roll many of these offerings into one bundled monthly subscription, similar to Amazon’s successful Prime program.