Apple’s March 25 launch event is upon us, and we’re expecting it to shed some light on Apple’s new video streaming service, magazine subscription services and rumored new credit card. Here’s everything you need to know before the event.
How to watch live: Monday, March 25
This star-studded event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater at the company’sin Cupertino. CNET will have a group of veteran Apple watchers on the scene, backed up by dozens more around the world along with some celebrities and media moguls thrown into the mix.
CNET will host a live show and live blog about the event.
Preshow start time: 9 a.m. PT, noon ET (See the start time where you are)
Start time and where to watch: 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET (See the start time where you are). What the live video feed of the event on Apple’s website.
Live blog from Cupertino: We’ll have a full team live-blogging on-site, including Connie Guglielmo, Joan Solsman and Shara Tibken.
En español, tambien: Gabriel Sama will be providing live Spanish-language coverage for CNET en español.
Video simulcast: Join Ashley Esqueda, Vanessa Hand Orellana and Lexy Savvides from our studio in San Francisco for real-time coverage and analysis live on CNET.com and YouTube.
Apple’s March event could be all about services
After weeks of rumors, Apple sent out an official invitation for a launch event on March 25 at 10 a.m. PT to be held at the Steve Jobs theater in its. The tagline on the invite for this event: “It’s show time” followed by a black and white countdown reminiscent of a classic Hollywood film — further proof that this event could be about video.
What to expect from Apple’s Netflix killer?
Don’t expect any new products at this event (Apple already announced that new line-up ahead of the event), the main headliners, according to the reports, will be Apple’s new subscription services.
Over a year and $1 billion dollars after we first heard news of it, Apple appears to be. It’s no secret Apple has been gearing up to launch its own original content for a with a library of at least 25 original shows ranging from dramas, comedies, docuseries and kids’ programming. Big name celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner, and directors like J.J. Abrams and Stephen Spielberg are on board, some of whom may actually be attending the event.
But even a powerful tech giant like Apple could have an uphill climb in this new arena with established players such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video and soonall vying for your screen time.
According to a recent New York Times report, Apple may also face a culture clash when it comes to dealing with Hollywood. Apple’s secretive nature seems to be one of the concerns for people working with the company as noted in the report. We’re used to the company being tight-lipped about its products, but apparently even the other players involved with Apple don’t have much clarity as to the release time and marketing plans for some of its shows. The report also says that Apple has been sensitive about how technology, specifically its own products, will be portrayed on the shows.
But Apple’s may not be relying solely on its own content for success. According to a Bloomberg report the Cupertino giant is courting some bigger names like Showtime, HBO and Starz to join its streaming service. One player who’s definitely out of the mix: Netflix. The company’s CEO Reed Hastings confirmed that the company will not be part of Apple’s streaming service, and warned the space will get very competitive, very soon.
And don’t expect any live sports on the service any time soon either. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, revealed the company is not interested in licensing sports content at this time. Instead they seem to have their eye on becoming a sort of middle man between the fans and the action with a curated sports experience within the TV app.
Apple may even be willing to explore offering up its content for free to attract more eyeballs to its services. Rich Greenfield, an analyst for BTIGApple’s original shows could be free for iOS users, with the option to pay a subscription fee to add other providers to the service. Although we won’t know the exact payment model for certain until the event.
The other big service announcement could come as a subscription news service. Apple’s news service would be a premium subscription plan on its current News app that would allow users to view content from different publishers (magazine and newspapers). The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal are just some of the major news outlets rumored to be in talks with Apple to be part of this service. But according to a Wall Street Journal report, publishers are hesitant to sign on becausefrom the service.
Apple credit card?
And the last thing Apple could announce at this event? A credit card. According to Bloomberg, iOS 12.2 will bring a co-branded Apple credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs. It’s rumored to be much like a regular credit card, including purchase rewards and up to 2 percent cash back. It would likely live in your Wallet — the digital one, that is.