Tech giants continue to drop out of this month’s South by Southwest festival over coronavirus concerns, threatening an event that typically serves as one of the industry’s most influential gatherings.
Apple Inc said that it wouldn’t be attending the conference, which kicks off on March 13 in Austin, Texas.
The iPhone maker and streaming-video provider had planned to debut three new Apple TV+ projects at the festival, including a Spike Jonze documentary about the Beastie Boys, an original series called “Central Park” by Loren Bouchard, and a series called “Home” from Doug Pray and Matt Weaver.
Netflix Inc also is pulling out, according to a representative for the company, cancelling five film screenings and a panel.
It had planned to screen the feature film “Uncorked” and four documentaries. Variety reported earlier on the move.
Amazon.com Inc, Twitter Inc, Facebook Inc have already dropped out of the conference, and SXSW organisers are under pressure to cancel the show altogether. But the conference’s management has said they’re following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and don’t feel they need to take that step yet.
CNN also backed out, saying its parent company, AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia, decided to not to move forward with this year’s conference. “We look forward to seeing everyone in Austin next year,” the news outlet tweeted.
Apple may have to make another decision soon. The company typically holds a wide-ranging conference for software developers in June, and hasn’t said yet if it’s changing plans for that event.