Apple Gives Netflix a Run for its Money

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rumored to be launching its own streaming-video service to compete with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Rumors have cropped up over the last few months that Apple plans to launch a cloud-based streaming service that will bring films and television shows to Apple devices. Apple has reportedly been in negotiations with studios and television networks for nearly a year.

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But it seems Apple has hit a snag in negotiations with media companies. To the dismay of media executives, Apple wants total power in deciding what content will be sold and at what price. Media companies have a lot more power over how their content is licensed online now that there are so many competing streaming services, as evidenced by Netflix’s recent split from Starz, which earlier this week removed all of its content from the streaming service. HBO (NYSE:TWX) has also shown disinterest in bringing content to Netflix.

The launch of an Apple streaming video service would no doubt create serious competition and trouble for Netflix, but it hasn’t been easy going for Apple. Rumors of the service have been circulating for nearly a year, but talk quickly died down, only to come back in full force in October when the company launched iCloud. At the time, the Los Angeles Times reported that Apple could launch the streaming-video service by the end of 2011 or early in 2012. But clearly nothing has materialized.

Will Apple’s press event next week tell us more about the service, or has it been placed on the back burner indefinitely?

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To contact the reporter on this story: Diallah Haidar at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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