Subscriptions are increasingly becoming sources of Apple's "Services" revenue, and the company has been openly working with two follow-ups to Apple Music: a paid subscription service for Apple News, and a video subscription service for iOS devices and Apple TV. Each is said that Apple takes on the popular all-you-can-watch streaming service Netflix, here with independent news organizations that provide endless news, and Apple funds a large slate of original videos.
None of the services have been officially announced, but both services have long been expected to start this year, possibly as soon as next month. Shortly after a report spread yesterday that Apple regretted publishers by demanding 50 percent cut of news subscription costs, unnamed "sources" told BuzzFeed News that Apple is planning a March 25 event focusing on new subscription services led by the news service. The sources "refused to say anything" on the video service, but considered that new iPad mini and AirPods models "are unlikely to happen".
In any case ̵
Adding the official announcement of Apple's video subscription service to the event would surely make it more interesting but still of questionable value to the participants. Apple will undoubtedly take out Oprah Winfrey with some equally high-profile directors and actors to talk about Apple-backed projects they are still working on, but there has been little indication that the video service is ready to launch. Without many videos to consume, no one will pay a monthly fee for an all-you-can-watch service.
That doesn't mean Apple can't formally announce the project; There are many exhibitions and films in different production countries, and they can be shown in sizzle wheels. However, it is not the company's style to advertise anything without a short-term release date, and it has caused some profiled burns from doing anything else. So unless Apple's plans to start signing "subscribers" with an extended free trial, or adding their own many third-party content, see the likelihood that an Apple branded streaming video service will be launched next month.
(After the first publication of this article, CNBC reported that the video service could start in April or early May, and "allow customers to sign up for [other companies’] digital streaming products and watch them in the iOS TV application." Starz, CBS, and Viacom are expected to be included in the service while HBO is not currently, nor will Netflix or Hulu be involved.)
Perhaps there is a third Apple subscription service waiting for imminent announcement – like the recently rumored iOS – The Spam Service – But I wouldn't hold my breath for it to happen next month, and at least hit an event that is purely or primarily focused on those services, as anything but unlikely. Apple has tried purely software-focused media events in the past, but they have been boring, and unless Oprah is going to give out free Project Titan cars to the participants, I don't think this would be anything else.
What I could see Apple doing, is the interconnection of each of its subscription services announcements with related hardware news. In last month's CES in Las Vegas, several major TV makers showed that their 2019 (and some 2018) "smart TVs" would include support for Apple's AirPlay 2 audio and video streaming feature; Samsung also announced a new iTunes video program designed to allow its TVs to browse the iTunes Store and play Apple-purchased content.
But none of the TV producers actually democratized AirPlay 2 or iTunes videos; Representatives on the show suggested that Apple would show off these features themselves. Since growing the upcoming video subscription service's potential audience beyond Apple TVs is the most likely reason why Apple itself allows other companies to offer iTunes compatibility, using this event to view new TV hardware options – perhaps accompanied by a premium on Apple TV – would make sense.
A similar service-new hardware pairing can also work for Apple News subscriptions. There are already 85 million Apple News readers across three supported countries, and Canada has already announced it will be the fourth country when iOS 12.2 goes live. Expanding the country's accessibility is one thing, but adding more readers to existing countries is another. New, lower priced iPads can help, and reports of updated entry level iPads and iPad minis have been circulating since the end of 2018.
It will be easy to view both the iPad 7 and the iPad mini 5 displayed The next month, just as iPads have for the last two years in March, recently discovered code on iOS 12 suggests they could come with an iPod touch update and that Eurasian device device reveals, possibly a third new iPad model.
At the moment, this is largely speculation, and I am the first to admit that the iPad section opposes BuzzFeed's claim that an iPad look They are "unlikely." But no matter how excited Apple may be about news and video services – as well as how popular they may be one day – they are not yet enough to justify an Apple caliber media event by itself. Assuming the incident is as alleged, I strongly expect the company to have more than just subscription services in March.
Updated at 11:23 Pacific: Added more details about the supposed Apple video service above.