Reports earlier this year indicated that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was behind in the development of its upcoming streaming service. Some analysts predicted that the launch of the service could be delayed until late 2019, or even early 2020.
New information from the Wall Street Journal suggests otherwise. The company will very likely announce its platform later today at a special press event at its Cupertino headquarters.
Not only is the company reportedly on track to release the service, but it could also bring HBO and Showtime to its lineup, making it not just a Netflix competitor, but also a hybrid competitor that could go head to head with cable television.
Major Networks to Bring Content to Apple Streaming
Apple’s streaming service will include channel subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, and Starz, according to the Wall Street Journal.
HBO content would be a huge selling point for Apple. HBO owns media properties like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deadwood, and the Wire. All are amongst the highest rated television productions of all time. Streaming versions of these shows could entice customers to sign up to Apple’s new service.
Showtime has also produced some of the highest rated shows in American history, including Homeland and Dexter. This network would be a solid addition to Apple’s offering.
Starz offers a broad selection of mainstream content and cinematic releases. While Starz produced shows don’t receive the same kind of accolades as networks like HBO, it would still help to bolster Apple’s lineup.
The addition of these three networks is good news for Apple investors. The company is reportedly lagging in the production of its own shows. Any high-quality content Apple can bring to the platform will help to draw customers in the meantime.
Access to each network would reportedly be offered for $9.99 per month on top of Apple’s subscription fee. This will put Apple in direct competition with cable providers.
Apple’s Stock Rise Could Continue Following This Week’s Announcement
Apple will hold an official announcement presentation on March 25th at 1PM Eastern Time. Apple’s stock hit a four-month high last week, based on speculation that the launch of the streaming service was right around the corner. While analysts misread the situation earlier this year, news that the service is closer than expected could be good for the stock.
Apple shares are now up 21% year to date, compared to a 12% gain for the S&P 500, and a 15.18% gain for the NASDAQ Composite.
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