Apple’s rumored television service that is in the works to showcase its original TV shows will be available in more than 100 countries, according to a new report from The Information citing details obtained from three inside sources.
Apple is said to be planning to launch the service in the United States in the first half of 2019, with a global expansion to follow later in the year.
According to The Information, Apple’s original content will be made available for free to Apple device owners, a rumor we heard earlier this month from CNBC.
While Apple’s content will be available at no cost, Apple will encourage users to sign up for television subscriptions from other cable networks such as HBO or STARZ.
Apple has reportedly started negotiating with content providers about what it will pay to carry TV shows and movies, but programming is not expected to be the same in each country. It is also not quite clear how Apple content will be positioned alongside content from third-party services.
It is unclear how the original programming will appear next to media companies’ channels, which is an issue as some try to negotiate with Apple about getting their shows on the app, said another person familiar with these discussions.
By making third-party content available via the streaming service and launching it in most countries around the world, Apple will be able to better compete with Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, both of which are available in 190+ countries.
Apple has more than a dozen original television shows in the works, and some with high-profile actors and actresses that are likely to attract a number of viewers.
Apple has also inked deals with Oprah Winfrey and Sesame Workshop for new television shows, including children’s programs.