After months of rumor and speculation, Apple is finally unveiling its plans to take on Hollywood and the news business.
Why it matters: Apple's efforts to get into content have had mixed success to date, Axios' Sara Fischer writes. But with iPhone sales drooping, the company aims to make more money from software services, which include news and entertainment as well as storage and payments.
What to expect: For months, rumors have swirled that Apple was set on building a direct Netflix competitor — a digital streaming service filled with hundreds of titles to get users hooked. But Recode’s Peter Kafka reported Thursday that Apple plans a different approach.
Video: Apple plans to sell subscriptions to cable networks, such as Starz, HBO and Showtime, similar to what Amazon currently offers via Amazon Prime, and taking a cut for itself.
- The price will be $9.99/month for each service, according to a report Sunday from the Wall Street Journal.
Original content: According to several reports, original programming will not be the crux of Apple's TV app. Rather, the point of Apple spending roughly $1 billion on original content is to lure people to buy into its bundle of services or to sell that content individually.
News: Apple also plans to debut its controversial news subscription business at the event for $9.99, per WSJ. While the app may be new, it didn't start from scratch.
- Earlier reports suggested that some big-name subscription publishers, like the New York Times and Washington Post, are balking at Apple’s terms, which reportedly take half the revenue from each subscription sold.
- Yes, but: NYT’s Mike Isaac reported Wednesday that the WSJ will participate in the service. Axios is hearing that Apple has not adjusted those terms.
- Last year Apple bought Texture, a "Netflix of magazines" that gave it access to hundreds of magazine titles.
- The bottom line: The deal makes sense for non-subscription publishers or those struggling to sell subscriptions, but is less attractive for those who rely heavily on subscription revenue.
Gaming: Apple is also planning a subscription service for games, Cheddar reported last month, although it's unclear if Apple will unveil this today. The service would act like a Netflix for gaming, giving users access to many different games under one subscription payment.
Our thought bubble: Notable about today's event will be that Apple, which has always made its money from hardware, has a showcase devoted exclusively to services.
- This time, Apple unveiled hardware updates ahead of time (new iMacs, iPads and AirPods), keeping the focus where the company wants it.
What’s next: The event will be livestreamed from Steve Jobs Theater at Apple headquarters in Cupertino 10 am PT. Axios’ Kia Kokalitcheva and Sara will be covering.