Publishers rain on Apple's March 25th parade

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If this was to be the launch of Apple’s much-anticipated media bundle, the company has started on the wrong foot.

 

From BuzzFeed’s Apple Plans News Event For March 25

Apple has settled on a date for its first big product announcement of 2019. Sources tell BuzzFeed News that the company plans to hold a special event on March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater on its Apple Park campus. Headlining the gathering: that subscription news service that has been all over the news today. Unlikely to make an appearance: next-generation AirPods, or that rumored new iPad Mini.

Sources described the event as subscription-services focused, but declined to say anything about Apple’s stand-alone video streaming service, which is also rumored to debut in 2019. Earlier this year, the Information reported that Apple had told studios and networks to be prepared for an April launch.

Apple has long held product events in late March, so it’s hardly a surprise it has planned another one for 2019. That said, sources said there is a small chance the final date could shift a bit given the level of publisher pushback the company is getting over the revenue-sharing terms of the so-called Netflix for news service it hopes to debut.

For the flavor of that pushback, see:

My take: I’m skeptical that this unpopular news subscription service will be “headlining” (as BuzzFeed has it) Apple’s first event of the year. AdAge‘s sources suggest otherwise:

Apple is thinking about bundling the magazine service with other media subscriptions, because it also has Apple Music and it plans to unveil a new streaming TV service in the spring, too. Apple has suggested that the multiple services can be promoted together, according to the publishing execs.