Don’t you hate when someone starts anything by saying “I’ve got some good news and some bad news”? Well, that is exactly how I am starting this article. What is the good news? Apple has announced that they will be having a March 25 event after all. This special event will mark the first time Apple has used its Apple Park venue for an event that doesn’t include a flagship iPhone announcement. So what is the bad news? You’re going to have to wait until March 25 to find out exactly what will be announced during that event. Apple officially announced the event with the tagline, “It’s Show Time”. The event theme leaves very little to the imagination, as it included a film-inspired countdown and a spotlight on the Apple logo.
What Apple will actually reveal during the event is unknown, but they’ve never really been good at keeping these things under wraps. Rumors have been pointing to a “software and services” focused event, and it’s also anticipated that Apple will unveil original content for its video service, as well as a new magazine and news subscription services. Over the last few months, Apple has made a few content deals – including those tied to the creation of shows. Some of these shows, such as Carpool Karaoke, are already available through Apple Music. Others that aren’t yet available appear to be coming from deals Apple has made with stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, M. Night Shyamalan, and Steven Spielberg.
Will Apple actually throw itself into the streaming business though? Some accounts suggest that the answer is yes. Or will they create this original content, and simply show it on Apple Music? If they do start their own streaming service, they will join a growing number of services attempting to compete with Netflix. That list includes a new service from Disney (Disney+), Amazon’s expansion of Prime Video, the DC Universe service that launched last year, CBS All Access, which includes a ton of Star Trek right now, and an upcoming Criterion Collection film service from WarnerMedia. Which makes me wonder if there are too many services out there now? Don’t get me wrong, I love TV and movies, but I certainly wonder if we’re moving towards an “a la carte” type service that doesn’t really benefit anyone?
This isn’t the first time that Apple has used this tagline for an event. In fact, they used it back in September 2006 where they first announced that they would start offering movies on iTunes. During that event, they also announced iTV, which would soon be renamed AppleTV and would release in 2007.
All that aside, this will likely be one of the most interesting events in a really long time. Why? Well, to start, Apple is talking about a magazine subscription service which they’re comparing to “Netflix”, but for magazines. You might remember that Apple acquired Texture, which is a digital magazine service that lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines for about $10 a month. This took place almost a year ago. And if that’s not telling of what Apple has in mind for the next year, I don’t know what is. It’s also interesting because this will officially mark the shift from being focused on hardware to thinking about how they can make money from their services. Unfortunately – you will have to wait until March 25 to find out more about what Apple plans to dive into next.