What to expect from Apple’s 25 March event: News, gaming subscriptions and more
Apple is hosting its first big event of the year at the Steve Jobs Theatre in Apple Park today, which is scheduled to kick off at 10.30 pm IST today. Here’s how you can livestream the event from your device, and here’s the local time for your region to tune in to the event.
Since Apple has already unveiled the 2019 iPads and Macs at a soft launch last week, today’s event is believed to be primarily focused on Apple’s services efforts.
What to expect: Apple’s Netflix-like video streaming service
Apple is expected to launch a Netflix-like online video streaming service. However, per a report by Recode, unlike Netflix, Apple will offer its original content to users free of charge. But it will also offer users access to video streaming subscriptions from third-party services as well, including HBO and Showtime. Reportedly, Apple might provide a separate storefront from the main App Store just for these services. The storefront will likely offer recommendations based on the user’s viewing patterns.
However, there may be bad news for the sports fan. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Apple’s Senior Vice President Eddy Cue said that the company is currently not thinking about licensing sports content. Instead, they will have a curated sports experience within the TV app.
Apple is also believed to offer its own bundles, combining packages from popular channels for a price that could be cheaper than what each service might cost on ‘standalone basis.’
Simultaneously, there are also some reports which suggest that Apple’s purported subscription-based TV service won’t be a major Netflix or Hulu competitor as the focus would be to sell streaming video subscriptions service from other companies and taking a slice of the revenue.
Unfortunately, little of this has any bearing on India as most of these services aren’t available here.
What to expect: Apple’s news subscription service
Besides that, Apple is also expected to announce a similar model for a news subscription service. Reportedly, Apple’s news service would be part of a premium subscription plan, which will be an additional layer on top of the existing News app. This service will essentially allow users to view premium content from different publishers. The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal are some of the major news outlets that are believed to be a part of this service. However, per a Wall Street Journal report, publishers are a little hesitant to sign on because Apple intends to take 50 percent of the revenues from the service.
Again, this service has little bearing on India as the News app isn’t even available in the Indian market. Hopefully, we’ll see some announcement on that front.
What to expect: Apple’s Gaming subscription service
In addition to the news and video services, Apple will reportedly also launch a subscription-based gaming service today.
From what we know so far, Apple’s gaming service will likely bundle paid games for a flat monthly rate, and would likely exclude “freemium” games where you need to make an in-app purchase to unlock everything. What this means is that you won’t be seeing the likes of a Fortnite Battle Pass or a PUGB Royale Pass but something similar to an Xbox Live subscription for iOS users.
Further, the reports suggest that the monthly service fee for the service would be divided amongst the games on the platform based on how much time is spent in each game. Hopefully, this does make its way to India.
What to expect: Apple credit card?
Besides all the streaming and subscription services, according to a report by Bloomberg, we may also see an Apple credit card. Reportedly, in iOS 12.2, Apple will be integrating support for a co-branded Apple credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs. This will apparently be a digital card, and much like the credit card, it will support rewards and cash backs.
For more coverage of the Apple Event:
Apple’s ‘It’s Show Time’ event starts at 10:30 PM today: Here’s how to watch it live
Apple may unveil its Netflix-like gaming subscription service at 25 March event
Apple to offer bundles of channels from content providers with its new TV service
Apple’s original TV shows won’t be free; subscriptions to HBO, Starz will cost $9.99: Report
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