Apple’s highly anticipated subscription TV service will launch ‘in the first half’ of next year, a new report has claimed.
According to a new report from The Information, the service will launch in more than 100 countries, according to three people who spoke to the site.
It would put Apple in direct competiton with Netflix and Amazon, both of whom also offer international services.
The company has signed up dozens of new shows to the project so far with big stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Kristen Wiig already on board.
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Apple is making a billion-dollar bet on its own on-demand television service that could launch as soon as 2019. The company has signed up 12 new shows to the project so far with big stars such as Reese Witherspoon (left) and Jennifer Aniston (right) already on board
‘Apple is working to launch its new TV service in the U.S. in the first half of next year and will make the app available globally in the following months, the people said,’ The Information wrote.
It will include Apple’s original programs free to Apple device owners and also will enable users to sign up for TV network subscriptions owned by other companies, just as Amazon Prime Video subscribers can do through the Amazon Channels feature in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan, the people said.
However, Apple’s original TV shows are so bland that its own staff have labelled the firm’s billion-dollar (£760 million) Netflix rival as ‘expensive NBC’ – a mocking reference to the channel’s reputation for broad, family-friendly programming.
Company executives, including CEO Tim Cook, have refused to authorize shows with ‘profanity, violence or gratuitous sex’, sources claim.
Vital Signs – a scripted drama about the life of hip-hop artist Dr Dre – has already been shut down by Apple for featuring cocaine use, an orgy, and ‘drawn guns’.
The new shows, backed by a budget that is set to top £0.7 billion ($1 billion), will launch sometime between March and summer 2019. Programmes include a new drama series from ‘La La Land’ (pictured) director Damien Chazellae
Apple is reportedly reviving Steven Spielberg’s (left) critically acclaimed 1985 anthology series ‘Amazing Stories’ for its new service. Rumours suggest it has also signed off on a new TV show with comedienne Kristen Wiig (right)
Other big-budget series, including a thriller written by Academy Award-winning director M. Night Shyamalan, have been heavily hampered by the firm’s demands.
The show, which follows a couple who lose a young child, was delayed after Apple executives asked that all crucifixes in the couple’s house be removed.
Sources close to the project said the decisions were made because Apple was afraid to compromise its consumer products sales, an issue not faced by streamers like Netflix and Amazon.
They said Apple’s desire to keep everything family-friendly could delay the launch of its streaming service, which is due to launch next year.
Apple is constructing a 128,00-square-foot headquarters for its new entertainment division, called Apple Worldwide Video, in Culver City, California.
The new shows, backed by a budget that is set to top £0.7 billion ($1 billion), will launch sometime between March and summer 2019.
They include a psychological thriller by ‘The Sixth Sense’ director M. Night Shyamalan as well as a drama series from ‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazellae.
WHAT SHOWS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON APPLE’S NEW NETFLIX-RIVAL STREAMING SERVICE?
Apple is making a billion-dollar bet on its own on-demand television service that is tipped to launch in 2019.
The streaming platform, which will rival popular services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, is set for release as early as next March, reports suggest.
Since October 2017, the firm has bought a dozen projects – nine of which have been green-lit for a full series.
The shows are backed by a budget that is set to top $1 billion (£760 million).
The programming would only be available on a subscription channel, most likely bundled with the company’s existing Apple Music streaming service.
They include —
- A psychological thriller by ‘The Sixth Sense’ director M. Night Shyamalan about a couple searching for a lost child.
- A drama series about a network morning show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
- A series on the life of hip hop magnate Dr Dre called Vital Signs.
- A drama series from ‘La La Land’ director Damien Chazellae.
- A revival of Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed 1985 anthology series ‘Amazing Stories’.
- A space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore.
- The company is also working on projects with comedienne Kristen Wiig and Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer.
According to sources close to the project, several of the projects have been delayed by Apple, which has pushed back on mature content.
M. Night Shyamalan’s show has reportedly been pushed back because Apple requested the removal of crucifixes from the house of the main characters.
The news network drama series has also been pushed back because execs were hoping for a more ‘upbeat’ show.
Vital Signs has been cancelled completely after Apple CEO Tim Cook took issue with scenes featuring cocaine, an orgy and ‘drawn weapons’.