“Apple, which is struggling to line up networks and cable channels for its long-delayed ‘skinny bundle’ offering of a lower-priced video service, is trying a new tack and talking with TV producers and Hollywood studios about investing in TV shows to offer exclusively to its iTunes customers,” Ronald Grover reports for TheStreet.

“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,” Grover reports. “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.”

Since the beginning of television, content differentiation has been the single most important element driving the business. Apple undoubtedly recognized that offering programming that is only available on iTunes is a ‘must have,’ just as it is for mainstream TV. — Blair Westlake, former chairman of Universal TV

“Apple’s conversations with Hollywood executives are being led by Eddy Cue, the company’s senior vice-president of Internet sales and software who is the company’s chief entertainment architect,” Grover reports. “The talks also include Robert Kondrk, vice-president of iTunes content, according to one of the people.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last September:

There is a finite amount of top flight producers, writers, directors. The company with the deepest pockets (and the willingness to reach into them and dispense the contents) wins this game.

Why Apple might feel compelled to get into original content – September 2, 2015
Apple’s Internet TV service could be ‘Netflix on steroids’ – September 1, 2015
Just because Apple may be getting into original content doesn’t mean it can produce good shows – September 1, 2015
Apple made ‘audacious bid’ for Top Gear trio of Clarkson, Hammond and May, but lost out to Bezos’ Amazon – September 1, 2015
Apple’s move into content creation could devastate Netflix and Amazon
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why would Apple want to make their own movies and TV shows? – September 1, 2015
Apple exploring entry into original entertainment production – August 31, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]