Apple has dipped its toes in original content with projects like the Beats 1 radio station, but there has been a lot of speculation around whether the company will ever produce its own media content, as both Amazon and Netflix have shown it can be very lucrative, launching many successful independent television series in recent years.
According to a contributor report from The Street, Apple is now looking to take that jump. It wants to produce original TV shows as exclusive content for its iTunes library offerings, according to the report, having spoken to ‘members of the Hollywood creative community’ late in 2015. These new TV shows could form part of a future Apple TV cable subscription service.
Don’t get too excited just yet about the idea of original content from Apple. For starters, the report is somewhat sketchy, given its provenance as a ‘contributor’ article on The Street’s site, but the author is a known media reporter. He used to write for Reuters and Bloomberg and certainly has connections with Hollywood business. Even if the report is true, though, it says that no shows have been commissioned for production yet. The report gives the impression that Apple is conducting very early stage meetings about such projects.
The Cupertino-based tech giant began sounding out Hollywood’s creative community late last year, but has yet to sign any agreements, according to two people with knowledge of the overtures. One plan is to have deals in place so Apple can announce exclusive content as part of a cable-like offering in September, when it is expected to unveil its iPhone 7, said one of the people.
The rumor mill has floated the idea of Apple launching a ‘skinny bundle’ internet cable service for Apple TV many times, but nothing concrete has ever transpired. Many media execs have gone on record regarding the talks, indicating it is a real project within Apple. Most recently, Apple was said to have shelved the idea facing pushback from the TV networks. Building its own content portfolio will let Apple offer compelling exclusive video content for its users as well as increase its leverage against the TV networks for its cable service negotiations.
Other reports have signalled Apple’s interest in buying Time Warner, owner of HBO which makes Game of Thrones and other popular TV series. An acquisition of HBO would certainly give Apple a headstart in producing its own content.