Mario Anzuoni | Reuters
An Oscar statue is seen during a media preview of this year’s Academy’s Governors Ball in Los Angeles, California, February 15, 2019.
Apple is entering the streaming wars and it’s hoping to take home several gold statues for its troubles.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple’s new streaming service, due to be revealed on March 25, has lofty goals for its television programs and feature films.
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is reportedly hiring strategists to help it with campaigns for awards shows like the Academy Awards and Emmys, with the intention of running for the Emmy Awards as soon as 2020.
Apple is reportedly spending billions on projects that feature celebrities like Jennifer Aniston (“Friends”) and NBA star Kevin Durant. J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Star Trek”) has also been linked to Apple’s new service.
The company is expected to charge users for some of its content, while offering the rest of the programs for free to Apple device users.
Hollywood has been embroiled in a debate about how streaming services fit into the traditional mold of Oscar contention. Netflix rubbed some theater owners the wrong way during its release of “Roma” last year. The film checked all the boxes for Academy Award consideration, but didn’t adhere to the typical release window period.
The film rolled out to a limited number of theaters on Nov. 21 and was released to Netflix’s streaming service on Dec. 14. The decision ruffled feathers for some theater operators, like AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, which declined to show “Roma” in theaters after its best picture nomination in January.
“Roma” went on to win three Academy Awards.
It is unclear if Apple will follow Netflix’s example or play nice with Hollywood. Amazon, another player in the space, has maintained a better relationship with the industry, opting to follow the traditional 90-day theatrical run window.
As for Apple’s television ambitions, the Emmy Awards have been very accepting of shows from streaming services. In 2018, Netflix and Amazon took home 12 of the 26 awards presented during the prime time special.