Apple could be close to launching its own original programming business, starting with TV shows and eventually making films.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is already in talks with producers and marketers from studios about licensing series and offering them to customers as part of its $10/month streaming music service. Apple reportedly wants to begin offering original scripted content by the end of the year.
Apple’s alleged push to become an SVOD programmer, albeit on a smaller scale than Amazon and Netflix, which both spend billions on original series and films, makes sense given CEO Tim Cook’s recent comments about Apple’s continued interest in TV.
During Apple’s third-quarter earnings call, Cook indicated his company might actively pursue content creation.
“I would confirm that television has intense interest with me and many other people here. In terms of owning content and creating content, we have started with focusing on some original content, as you point out,” said Cook, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “We've got a few things going there that we've talked about. And I think it's a great opportunity for us both from a creation point of view and an ownership point of view. And so it's an area that we're focused on.”
Apple has dabbled in original content already, releasing a series about Beats mogul Dr. Dre and more recently acquiring a series based on the Carpool Karaoke segments from The Late Late Show with James Corden.
For Apple, the move into more original video content could potentially help it compete better with rival streaming services like Spotify. Last year, Spotify announced plans to produce 12 original series.
The fairly limited original content plans for Apple would also mark a continued shift away from the ambitious live TV service plans that Apple has apparently abandoned.