Apple is reportedly racing the clock to get HBO, Showtime, Starz, and other video providers on board with its streaming TV plans, which the company plans to announce on March 25. Sources tell Bloomberg that at least a couple of those deals should fall into place by Friday, but not without concessions, as Apple and the networks have clashed over marketing, promotion, and user experience issues. Bloomberg also notes that Apple’s first batch of new original movies and TV shows won’t arrive until later this year, perhaps putting more pressure on Apple to bring in video from outside networks.
Bloomberg has previously reported that Apple wants to offer a marketplace for video services, similar to Amazon Channels and Roku’s Premium Subscriptions. This would allow users to access multiple video sources through a single app and billing system. A CNBC report in October reiterated those plans, adding that Apple may offer its originals for free on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, and other Apple devices. The company is also planning a magazine subscription service, and could offer discounts to users to add video subscriptions as well.
It’s all part of a plan to boost services revenue as hardware sales stagnate. But because TV networks have lots of other ways to distribute their shows online–including Roku’s and Amazon’s storefronts, live TV streaming services, and their own direct-to-consumer apps–they may not be feeling much urgency to play on Apple’s terms.