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Apple to Invite Hollywood Stars to TV Service Launch on March 25 [Updated]

Apple is planning to unveil both its news service and its TV streaming service at its March 25 event, reports Bloomberg, and celebrities will be in attendance.

Apple's plans for a March 25 event were revealed yesterday, but at the time, Apple was only known to be unveiling an upcoming news subscription service in Apple News. The rumored TV service that's in the works will also reportedly be included.

Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and JJ Abrams are set to attend the event, which will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. All of these actresses are starring in television shows that Apple has purchased, and JJ Abrams is directing one of them.

Apple's upcoming video service is said to be similar to Amazon's Prime video option and Netflix's service. It will include TV shows and movies acquired by or funded by Apple, and Apple has more than two dozen original television shows in the works. An actual paid subscription service will launch by the summer.

There is some confusion over Apple's streaming TV plans. While Bloomberg's report suggests Apple's content will be delivered via paid streaming service, other rumors have indicated that Apple plans to provide at least some of its original content to Apple device owners for free.

These other rumors have also suggested that Apple will be teaming up with content providers like Showtime to allow Apple owners to sign up for add-on services like Showtime premium through its TV app, where the upcoming streaming service will presumably be available.

Apple's plans for its TV service will become clearer after March, when the details are officially announced.

Along with its TV service, Apple is going to unveil a premium news service that will let Apple News users sign up for a $9.99 per month subscription that will provide unlimited access to paywalled content from sites like The New York Times and the Washington Post, though Apple is said to be still negotiating deals ahead of the service's launch.

There's also a magazine subscription service in the works, which will provide unlimited access to dozens of magazines for $9.99 per month, similar to the Texture service that Apple acquired in 2018. All of these services could potentially be bundled into a single subscription package option in the future.

The March 25 event is believed to focus solely on services, with Apple not planning to introduce any hardware.

Several hardware products, such as the iPad mini 5, seventh-generation iPad, AirPower, updated AirPods, and seventh-generation iPod touch are in the works and are expected to be updated in the spring, but those updates are not expected at the March event and could instead come via press release.

With the AirPower having already been announced and all of the other updates being relatively minor in scale based on circulating rumors, it makes sense for the new products to debut more quietly.

The iPad mini 5, for example, is expected to be quite similar in design to the iPad mini 4, with the exception of an updated processor, and the same goes for the seventh-generation iPad. That device may get a slightly bigger 10-inch screen and a new chip, but the changes won't be significant.

AirPods rumors have been a bit mixed, but it looks like we may get a wireless Charging Case and "Hey Siri" functionality with other features saved for a later update in 2019 or 2020. We're also not expecting significant design changes to the seventh-generation iPod touch, which will look similar to the sixth-generation model.

Update: A separate report from Reuters suggests that Apple may be planning to hold an event to introduce its streaming television service in April, not March.

Update 2: The Hollywood Reporter also confirms that Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner, and J.J. Abrams have all been invited to an Apple event set to be held on March 25.

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Top Rated Comments

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5 days ago at 01:50 pm
Probably US only while Netflix is available in 100+ countries
Rating: 17 Votes
5 days ago at 01:34 pm
So Apple is going to invite the pathetic Hollywood crowd … damn they are good a public relations.
Rating: 15 Votes
5 days ago at 01:30 pm
Apple news service … this will be interesting … will we now see an onslaught of Silicone Valley oriented politically correct news services spreading their vision of society?
Rating: 14 Votes
5 days ago at 01:43 pm
ohhhhh hollywood stars.....yah who cares!
Rating: 12 Votes
5 days ago at 01:34 pm
Big deal, now apple will puppeteer Hollywood (like the film industry isn’t already) and it’s films definitely will be politically correct nonsense.
[doublepost=1550093891][/doublepost]Instead of owning everything in the world how about apple just making better and less expensive equipment?
Rating: 12 Votes
5 days ago at 01:26 pm
I just hope they strike a better tone than with the U2 thing... Overly-excited Tim Cook can come on strong and cringe-y.
Rating: 10 Votes
5 days ago at 02:00 pm
How many streaming services do these companies expect us to pay for every month?
Rating: 8 Votes
5 days ago at 02:37 pm

I think there is not much to support your excitement.
Convenience? - how much more convenient can it be than launching Netflix app?
Quality? - like Siri or Apple maps? Siri is played as the foundation of their OS, still
after so many years it's a joke. What confidence does it give us about their brand new
service, so far only "proven" by Planet of the Apps?

Wow, that’s a lot of negativity to unravel.

Apple has a history of making things more convenient. Plenty of reason to believe they’ll do it again.

Their News app is a good example. They weren’t the first, but it has become very popular largely by being relatively effortless and extremely well integrated. Much easier than opening half a dozen different news apps.

What’s easier than opening the Netflix app? Uh, how about opening the Apple TV app and being able to see the latest episode from dozens of different shows you are watching on dozens of different networks, all in one place? The fact the Netflix doesn’t play along makes them a pain in the arse. And means I don’t watch Netflix as much as I might because they make it harder for me than watching Prime, Hulu, TBS, etc.

Siri started strong. Then it **** the bed. Now it’s making a comeback. In a huge annual survey of digital assistants, that includes 800 queries, Siri went from a distant 4th place last year to 2nd in 2018, trailing only Google Assistant. Apple Maps has also made huge leaps and bounds, and in one study I read gives more accurate duration estimates at the start of a trip than Google Maps or Waze. And this year they are rolling out 100% new, home grown map data, built from the ground up. All while keeping user location data private. So underestimating Apple’s ability to comeback and regain lost ground seems like a bad bet to me.

And did you actually watch Planet of the Apps? I thought it was pretty compelling. It’s obviously a much more limited audience because of the subject matter, but it was well produced and interesting for anyone who cares about tech or the app economy. It certainly would be right at home alongside similar niche reality shows on Netflix.

You’re free to be as negative and pessimistic as you want. Just don’t pretend that your POV is based on the latest facts on the ground. For me, I’m remaining cautiously optimistic and looking forward to the March keynote.
Rating: 7 Votes
5 days ago at 01:51 pm
Can Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen host it?
Rating: 7 Votes
5 days ago at 02:05 pm
It'll be a flop like Apple Music.
Rating: 6 Votes

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