The Information is reporting that Apple has told various studios and networks “whose offerings will be available through the service to be ready for launch by mid-April,” according to three sources. Some of those studios may include independent film powerhouse A24 and the Oprah Winfrey Network, which Apple has signed multiyear and picture deals with, according to previous reports. The streaming service is expected to launch “within several weeks of that date,” according to The Information. There’s still no information on how much Apple’s streaming service will cost subscribers.
If correct, April will be a busy month for streaming services. Disney is expected to show investors its standalone streaming service, Disney+, on April 11th, according to a report released ahead of the company’s Q4 investors call. Disney’s streaming platform won’t launch until later in the year, according to CEO Bob Iger, but the company is gearing up to tease what subscribers should expect. If both Apple and Disney launch their streaming platforms by the end of 2019, that means consumers will have access to a number of top-tier streaming platforms from major corporations, including streaming giants like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix.
The big question is what the content on Apple’s streaming service will look like. The company has inked deals with a number of studios and networks, and it appears to be betting on exclusive, prestige content. That’s similar to Disney’s plan, which will offer subscribers access to the company’s humongous library of films and television series, alongside new shows from some of its biggest franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars.
Apple’s plans, as noted in a previous Verge story, include:
Apple has already begun releasing its own projects: it released Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke last year on Apple Music, but its big slate of original content is expected to begin rolling out as early as March 2019. To prepare for that, the company has greenlit or begun developing an impressive slate of projects: so far, Apple has signed a multiyear deal with Oprah Winfrey to develop new shows, ordered a pair of children’s shows from the creators of Sesame Street, a reboot of the science fiction anthology show Amazing Stories, a Hunger Games-style dystopian show called See, a series from La La Land director Damien Chazelle, a thriller series from M. Night Shyamalan, a space drama from Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore, a drama about a morning show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction novel Foundation. There are also reports that it’s working to acquire the rights for an animated film.
The Verge has reached out to Apple for comment.