Apple’s TV service will reportedly be dominated by third-party content at launch

Jacob Siegal

Just days after Apple confirmed its March 25th “show time” event by sending out invites to members of the press, a new Bloomberg report helps to shed light on Apple’s short-term plans for its TV service. Although the iPhone maker is expected to finally debut its long-awaited Netflix rival at the event, a majority of the content available on the service at launch will be from third-party content providers — not from Apple itself.

In fact, according to Bloomberg, “the first slew of releases” won’t hit the service until much later in 2019, as most of them are still in development. Presumably, the shows Apple has already released on Apple Music, such as Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, will be on the streaming service, but that isn’t clear.

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In the meantime, Apple is desperately working to fill out its content library ahead of launch, going so far as to “[offer] concessions to get deals done by a Friday deadline.” Apple is in talks with HBO, Showtime, and Starz, and all three are expected to join Apple’s service eventually. Sources say that it’s down to the details at this point, as each of the premium networks want to have a say in “marketing, promotion and the user experience.”

Unsurprisingly, Netflix and Hulu will not be a part of Apple’s TV service, because they don’t want Apple to control the user experience or have access to their viewing data. Apple would seemingly prefer to build a single portal through which users could access all their networks and services, but its direct competitors aren’t game.

While the TV service will likely take center stage at the Steve Jobs Theater in two weeks, Apple is also expected to unveil its news subscription service at the event. iOS users will be able to subscribe to a bundle of magazines and newspapers through the Apple News app, which is being redesigned for the iOS 12.2 update.

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