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Apple is finally launching its own streaming video service -- who and what will be on it, and how will it survive in the crowded VOD landscape?




Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the New Apple TV during a Special Event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium September 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the New Apple TV during a Special Event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium September 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California.
Stephen Lam/Getty Images

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Since its founding in 1976, Apple has been all about its devices -- from the Apple II computer to the hand-held “Newton” PDA to the iPhone, iPod and Apple TV more recently.

But next week, consumers will get a first look at Apple’s biggest foray into the world of services when it finally pulls the tarp off of its rumored streaming video service at a special event at their Cupertino, California headquarters on Monday. And now, we’re starting to get a sense of exactly what kind of content we can expect on the service, and who’s making it.

So far, there have been several big names that are confirmed to be working with Apple on content, including Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey (check out CNET’s running list of all the announced shows here), and they’ve also inked a first-look deal with up-and-coming film studio A24, which has made waves in recent years with films like “Room,” “Moonlight,” “Ex Machina,” and “Hereditary.” They’ve also purchased films from festivals like Sundance, where they bought the rights to a coming-of-age drama called “Hala,” executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith.

Among those questions still to be answered are how widely available Apple’s new streaming service will be when it launches and how much of the announced content will be available at launch. Apple is known in the tech community for preferring its users operate completely within their ecosystem, but it’s hard to ignore the potential share of the market they’d be foregoing if they chose to only make the service available to Apple device users.

They’ll also have to compete with the massive content catalogs of streaming giants like Netflix and Hulu, who have carved out their own niches in the streaming landscape, and handle the transition from being a tech-focused company to focusing on both tech and the entertainment business, and learning how to navigate the complex environment of Hollywood and the film studios.

Guest:

Joan E. Solsman, senior reporter for CNET covering digital media who has been following the story; she tweets @joan_e