Apple Inc. “will host A-list celebrities and media executives on March 25 to outline how it will take on competitors like Inc. and Netflix Inc.,” Lucas Shaw, Mark Gurman, and Julie Verhage report for Bloomberg. “Apple plans to unveil a long-awaited streaming service and magazine subscription bundle, and could use the event in Cupertino, California, to preview additional Apple Pay features, laying the groundwork for an iPhone credit-card partnership with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.”

“But before the curtain goes up, Apple needs to complete deals. The company is racing to secure movies and TV shows to offer alongside its own original videos and is offering concessions to get deals done by a Friday deadline, according to people familiar with the matter,” Shaw, Gurman, and Verhage report. “Pay-TV programmers such as HBO, Showtime and Starz have to decide whether Apple is an existential threat, as some now view Netflix, a potential partner or something in between.”

“he upcoming video service, which will likely be integrated into the iPhone, iPad and set-top box’s TV app, will include two new features: shows funded, bought or developed by Apple, and programming from outside media companies,” Shaw, Gurman, and Verhage report. “At launch, most of the shows and movies in Apple’s video service will be from outside suppliers, underscoring the importance of signing up partners. Most of Apple’s own movies and TV shows are still in development, according to the people, with the company planning the first slew of releases later in the year at the earliest.”

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MacDailyNews Take: It’s down to the wire, but we bet HBO, Showtime, and Starz, among others, will be on board when the service is unveiled on the 25th.

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