Apple plans significant new business in producing original television shows and movies

“Apple Inc. is planning to build a significant new business in original television shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could make it a bigger player in Hollywood,” Ben Fritz, Tripp Mickle and Hannah Karp report for The Wall Street Journal. “These people said the programming would be available to subscribers of Apple’s $10-a-month streaming-music service… Apple Music already includes a limited number of documentary-style segments on musicians, but nothing like the premium programming it is now seeking.”

“The technology giant has been in talks with veteran producers in recent months about buying rights to scripted television programs. It also has approached experienced marketing executives at studios and networks to discuss hiring them to promote its content, said people with knowledge of the discussions,” Fritz, Mickle and Karp report. “In addition to TV, Apple indicated to these people that it is considering offering original movies, though those plans are more preliminary.”

“Executives at Apple have told people in Hollywood they hope to start offering original scripted content by the end of 2017,” Fritz, Mickle and Karp report. “The shows Apple is considering would likely be comparable to critically acclaimed programs like Westworld on Time Warner Inc.’s HBO or Stranger Things on Netflix. Because it is looking at just a handful of carefully selected shows, and potentially films, it doesn’t appear Apple is preparing to spend the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars it would need to spend annually to become a direct competitor to Netflix Inc., Inc.’s Prime Video or premium cable networks. Rather, it would escalate the arms race between Apple Music and Spotify…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sleep tight, Spotify.

Apple Music has rendered Spotify’s future decidedly dimmer.

The best customers are those who pay. As demonstrated by years of data, form disparate sources, those paying customers are also significantly more likely to be iPhone owners than those who’ve settled for poor iPhone facsimiles. A healthy portion of these coveted customers will leave for Apple’s comprehensive offering which offers better family rates, more music, likely exclusives, and seamless integration across all Apple devices. It’ll even work with crappy Windows PCs and Android phones eventually (not that those are likely to be Spotify’s paying customers, but whatever, some of them will join Apple Music and maybe even graduate to Apple devices because of it).

Spotify could quickly be left with an unprofitable system, with a dwindling music library because they cannot afford to pay music royalties. — MacDailyNews, June 9, 2015

Apple buys James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ TV series for Apple Music exclusive – July 26, 2016
Spotify follows Apple into original video content development – May 13, 2016
Dr. Dre to star in Apple’s first, sex-soaked scripted television series ‘Vital Signs’ – February 12, 2016
Apple looking to develop original TV series as part of new video strategy, sources say – January 29, 2016
Why Apple might feel compelled to get into original content – September 2, 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
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 Readers “Fred Mertz” and “bovinnik” for the heads up.]


      1. They weren’t ‘ too late’, more like too different to know what to think. TV shows and movie production may actually be ‘too late’, especially if it is exclusive to only Apple devices.

  1. Should have started this 5-10 years ago.
    Apple was already producing the best advertisements, it’s been inconcievable to me why they’ve taken so long to produce their own original long form content.

    1. Can’t disagree with that. Lots of people applaud non-OTA broadcasters for their “edgy, contemporary” programming, but a lot of it is no better than OTA stuff. It just comes with nudity and language they don’t do.

      As an SF fan, I’m loath to say that because a lot of that programming is in that genre, but Sturgeon’s Law applies to SF stuff, too.

      As long as I’m invoking SF authors, let me criticize the highly praised The Man in the High Castle. They took what could have been a high point of TV programming as a movie or mini-series, and decided to bore us to death with a self-indulgent, interminably padded-out diatribe to emphasize how very bad living under Nazism would be.

      Whatever Apple does, I hope that is not the kind of programming they decide to do.

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