What to expect from Apple's 25 March 'showtime' event

Anthony Cuthbertson
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What to expect from Apple's 25 March 'showtime' event

What to expect from Apple's 25 March 'showtime' event

Apple is planning a "special event" on 25 March, where the tech giant is widely expected to unveil a new video streaming service to potentially rival Netflix.

Taking place at the Steve Jobs Theatre at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, an invitation for the event included the phrase "it's showtime" in an apparent reference to a new film and video platform, though no official details have yet been revealed.

There have nonetheless been a slew of leaks and rumours that usually come with major Apple events. Other potential announcements are thought to include a paid-for news subscription service.

The news service would potentially function like a Netflix for newspapers and magazines, with publications bundled together under a single subscription fee.

Other leaks hint at an Apple credit card, made possible thanks to a partnership with Goldman Sachs. According to Bloomberg, this would function like a regular credit card, offering users cash back and purchase rewards.

Given the recent AirPods and iPad announcements, it is almost certain that the tech giant will not announce any new hardware and instead focus all its attention on the new services and the content that will feature on them.

Up to 25 original shows could be unveiled, with Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Stephen Spielberg all rumoured to be involved.

This could help the Cupertino company compete with those already established in the industry.

"Apple is yet another player with massively deep pockets trying to sign up consumers onto a monthly subscription. The issue here is that the market cannot support many more of these services," Toby Chapman from the consultancy firm OC&C told The Independent.

"Hulu, Disney, Britbox, Amazon Prime Video, and a string of specialist services such as Curiosity stream and DAZN are already overburdening consumers with choice as it is."

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, speaks during an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple has a few key advantages over Netflix and other existing players, however, most notably its ability to lock people into its hardware and software ecosystem.

"Their hardware ecosystem is a force to be reckoned with; combining Apple TV, iPhones and iPads with Airplay technology will provide consumers with a truly seamless experience," Mr Chapman said.

"Apple's existing billing relationship with customers also means it will be easy to drive sign-ups. We may see Apple's subscription services bundled together, such as Apple Music and Apple Video."