(SAN FRANCISCO) — So this is what Tim Cook does with $1 billion.
That’s the amount that Apple has invested in developing its entertainment division, including original programming in the company’s closest approximation of a Hollywood studio to date. The company is expected to reveal its lineup of shows and movies, in addition to how to stream them at its “show time” event Monday in San Francisco.
The event starts at 1 p.m. ET.
The event is a pivotal moment for the company, which is rebranding itself as a services company amid a saturated iPhone market. As is typical with Apple events, it’s shrouded in secrecy with a few strategic leaks. But this is what we we’re hearing so far:
Apple streaming video
It’s expected that Apple will shift its video content to the Apple TV app that comes pre-installed on its devices. Insider tech sites also assume it will operate like the Amazon Prime setup, which offers both other streaming services apps as well as its own channel.
“Apple plans on making a new storefront that’s much more prominent for those who use Apple TV boxes and other Apple hardware. It will also be able to offer its own bundles — for instance, it could offer a package of HBO, Showtime and Starz at a price that’s lower than you’d pay for each pay TV service on its own,” according to Recode.
It will not include Hulu or Netflix, according to several reports. The pricing is anyone’s guess.
In June 2017, Apple created Hollywood buzz when it hired Sony Presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to head its original programming division. It has since poached more execs from Sony. However, its first two attempts at original programming — Planet of the Apps, an entrepreneur reality show similar to Shark Tank, and Carpool Karaoke: The Series with James Corden — fell short of, say, AMC’s Mad Men as a calling card for original programming.
To compete with Netflix or Amazon Prime, Apple has spent heavily on recruiting talent ranging from marquee names — Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Brie Larson — to more niche personalities — Josh Gad and Alan Yang. Of course, it remains under wraps whether any of these stars will be at the event, but it seems likely there will be at least a few.
The talent and format look to be more diverse than network TV, featuring scripted and unscripted shows, as well as a focus on audio storytelling, which fits into Apple’s established foray into music and podcasts. It also heavily leans on women and minorities in talent both in front of and behind the camera. There’s an immigrant-focused show called Little America, from Lee Eisenberg (The Office) and Alan Yang (Master of None), and Pachinko, which is based on Min Jin Lee’s novel about generations of a Korean family living through Japanese occupation.
Since Apple bought Texture, a digital magazine subscription service last year, it’s been assumed that the company would adopt its model for a news product.
Texture offered hundreds of magazines for a set monthly fee. It’s unclear what will be integrated into the news subscription model, but this week, it was reported that The New York Times and The Washington Post (owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) would not be. The Wall Street Journal will be included, according to The New York Times.
Apple Credit Card
Apple currently offers a Barclaycard Visa, but it’s expected to unveil its Goldman Sachs credit card at the event. News of the two heavyweights teaming up for the card was first reported by The Wall Street Journal last year. It’s expected to offer a rewards program.
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