Apple is readying its video streaming service, which will combine original programming along with support for other subscription services. But HBO Now may not be one of them.
According to CNBC, revenue splits and data sharing may be at the heart of the disagreement. Apple has reportedly already reached terms to offer streaming services from CBS, Showtime, Starz and Viacom on its platform. But HBO still hasn’t signed on and that could have something to do with Apple asking for a 30% cut on all subscribers who sign up for third-party services through Apple’s platform.
The report said that in addition to HBO’s potential exclusion, Hulu and Netflix won’t be a part of Apple’s streaming service. Those two services are also unavailable on Amazon Channels. Amazon does, however, offer HBO Now through Channels and, according to the report, Apple has so far been unwilling to match the terms of Amazon’s deal with HBO.
CNBC’s report—like The Information’s report from late January—pegs an April or early May launch for the service.
Apple is taking on Amazon, HBO, Hulu and Netflix with a reported $1 billion content budget. The company has lined up programming including a series about a morning TV show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Apple has also booked a series from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle, an “Amazing Stories” reboot from Steven Spielberg and an animated series from the creator of Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers.”
Apple will reportedly offer its video service through an updated version of its TV app and allow iOS and tvOS devices free access to its original content. Apple’s share of the connected TV device market is relatively small compared with rivals including Amazon Fire TV and Roku. A string of recent agreements with smart TV makers could serve as a way for Apple to get its content onto more big screens.
Last month, the company announced that Samsung smart TVs would be getting an iTunes app and AirPlay 2 support. Apple also announced that LG, Sony and Vizio smart TVs would also be adding AirPlay 2 support, allowing iPhone and iPad users to streaming content from their devices to their TVs.