Apple Sends Out “It’s show time” Media Invites, Streaming Service Launch Expected

Apple Media Invite

Apple on Monday invited media to a March 25 event at the Steve Jobs Theater on its campus in Cupertino, California, where it is expected to launch a video streaming service.

Reuters previous reported, citing sources, that Apple is targeting April for the launch of its streaming television service that will likely include subscription TV service. It often releases products and services in the weeks following an event.

Apple did not specify the nature of the product that is going to be launched at the event, nevertheless, the invitation read “It’s show time.”

Apple has long shown its interest in launching a video streaming service, the company event spent $2 billion (roughly ₹14,000 crores) in Hollywood to produce its own content and signing major stars such as Oprah Winfrey. Sources closer to the matter said that the service may resell subscriptions from CBS Corp, Viacom and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s Starz among others, as well as Apple’s own original content.

The TV service is expected to be launched globally as an answer to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Apple’s App Store, where the service is most likely to be distributed from, is currently available in more than 100 countries.

Investors have started focusing on the potential sales from a television service after Apple in January reported the first-ever dip in iPhone sales during the key holiday shopping period. Apple had also decided to lower iPhone prices in some of the markets to account for foreign exchange rates.

Apple is also in discussion with HBO, part of AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, to become a part of the service and it could make it in time for the launch, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Apple is expected to upgrade its iPads or Apple TV devices later this month, however, the event is likely the first major event from Apple that is not focused on hardware, said Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies.

Apple is shifting its marketing strategy and the launch of a video streaming service would mark a major move forward from the company in terms of services offered. The company, earlier this year, also made its Apple Music services work on smart speakers from rivals such as Amazon and partnered with Samsung Electronics to let Samsung television owners watch video purchased from Apple on Samsung sets.

“I don’t look at that as saying Apple has given up on the (Apple smart speaker) HomePod or the Apple TV – those will be the products where Apple Music or an Apple movie experience work the best,” Bajarin said. “But Apple is smart to not limit the places people can consume their services.”

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