Apple's Netflix-Rivaling Streaming Service Tipped for April Launch
At this point, we know that Apple has been working on a streaming service for several years. It was delayed back in 2015 with reports indicating that the delay was due to negotiations for local content. The service will have original programs that Apple has made with a strict insistence on the shows refraining from sex or violence and being very family friendly. Reports indicate that the service will offer programming at no cost to Apple device owners.
A new report has surfaced that claims sources familiar with Apple's plans have stated the streaming service will launch in April, with early May as another possibility. The sources also claim that Netflix and its top-rated original programming won't be part of the deal and participation from HBO is unlikely at launch.
Apple's service will let users sign up for existing digital streaming products and watch them via an iOS TV application; Amazon does this same thing with its Prime Video app. Amazon's offering allows users who subscribe to HBO and other pay networks to log in and view that content via the Amazon application putting multiple streaming offerings in one location. Apple reportedly wants that all-in-one-place configuration instead of forcing users to launch separate applications for each service.
Sources claiming to be familiar with the Apple service say that Starz, Showtime, CBS, and Viacom are all expected to participate. As for the participation of HBO, it might join Apple on the service, but sources claim that discussions aren't far along and Apple hasn't offered similar terms to what Amazon offered. The sources claim that Apple wants 30% of the revenue generated from each customer that subscribes to a streaming service via its app. Apple has been getting a 15% cut on revenue for people who register for streaming services via the App Store.