Apple is preparing a new digital video service that will marry original content and subscription services from legacy media companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Owners of Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will find the still-in-the-works service in the pre-installed “TV” application, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details of the project are private.
The product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to Apple device owners, and subscription “channels,” which will allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO and Starz.
The new content will likely launch alongside a revamped version of the TV app, sometime early in 2019.
The report indicates the subscription channels will essentially copy the way they’re handled by Amazon Prime Video channels subscriptions. There won’t be a need to download a separate app from individual streaming providers, but will instead be all available from inside the app.
Apple is believed to be spending around $1 billion on original content, which it is said to be keeping at the “PG-rated” level in an attempt to appeal to wide audiences, and to make it able to offer the content for free with no worries about whether children access them. Apple reportedly has approximately 24 original shows in production and/or development.