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Apple is rushing to close deals ahead of streaming service launch

Alyssa Clementi

Apple is still scrambling to get content providers on-board its anticipated video streaming service, which is expected to be officially announced at Apple’s showcase on March 25 in California. Apple has invited Hollywood executives and A-list celebrities to attend the event, in an effort to draw support for the streaming service.

The tech giant is expected to explain how it’s new service plans to fend off competition from Amazon and Netflix’s similar streaming platforms. Apple may also be using the event to debut its rumored streaming-service and magazine subscription bundle, as well as new Apple Pay features, ahead of the company’s first credit-card.

Before any solid plans can be announced though, Apple needs to complete deals with HBO, Showtime, Starz and more. According to a source close to the matter, Apple is aiming to have those deals closed by Friday. Along with content from third-party providers, Apple is producing its own original content, with multiple projects said to be in the works.

Netflix and Hulu have made it clear they have no intention of working with Apple on its new streaming service. Netflix, which has already stopped letting people subscribe via the App Store, has recently announced plans to expand its own platform, especially in India. Netflix’s vice president of product, Todd Yellin, recently told audiences at the 20th edition of FICCI-Frames that the interactive content of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was so popular, the platform will keep building off of it.

“It’s a huge hit here in India, it’s a huge hit around the world, and we realized, wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on,” Yellin said. “We’re doubling down on that. So,expect over the next year or two to see more interactive storytelling. And it won’t necessarily be science fiction, or it won’t necessarily be dark. It could be a wacky comedy. It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose – should she go out with him or him.”