Netflix ‘won’t be involved in Apple’s TV streaming service’

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Apple is expected to announce its own video streaming platform at its California headquarters on March 25, which is thought to come with original content as well as programming from existing broadcasters and entertainment producers
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However, Netflix will not be part of the new service, its boss Reed Hastings has told US media.

Speaking at a press event in Los Angeles, the Netflix chief executive reportedly said that Apple is a “great company” but it had ultimately decided “not to integrate into their services”.

The development may not come as a shock to the industry, given that Netflix, famed for series such as The Crown and hit original films including Bird Box, represents competition for Apple’s new offering.

Apple
Apple is expected to announce a new video streaming service on March 25 (Yui Mok/PA)

Apple’s services business – which ranges from its Apple Music streaming service to the App Store and Apple Pay – is becoming increasingly important to the firm as an alternative revenue source following a fall in iPhone sales at the start of the year.

In contrast to a 15% drop in phone sales reported in its most recent quarterly financial results, Apple’s services revenue was up 19% to around £8.3 billion in the most recent figures.

Apple Music has been a successful addition to the company since its launch in 2015, having gained more than 50 million subscribers and closing in on market leader Spotify, which had reached 87 million paying subscribers at the end of last year.

The streaming video entertainment sector is becoming ever more competitive, with Disney and WarnerMedia currently working on their own plans, joining Netflix and Amazon among others.

Meanwhile, in the UK, traditional broadcasters are stepping up their effort, with BBC and ITV announcing plans to collaborate on a joint subscription-based streaming service called BritBox, featuring new commissions, recent shows and old British favourites.

Chris Price