Original television programming could soon be coming to Apple Music, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Apple is looking to Hollywood to offset declining iPhone and iPad sales. The company is said to have been in talks with veteran producers about buying rights to scripted television shows. Apple has also visited with marketing executives at studios and networks to discuss hiring them to promote the new content.
The Thursday report notes that Apple hopes to start offering original television content before the end of the year. Original movies could someday follow. Apple is considering shows “comparable” to HBO’s “Westworld” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
The original content would be available to Apple Music subscribers, who pay $9.99-per-month for unlimited music. In doing so, Apple could “escalate the arms race” between Apple Music and Spotify.
As The Wall Street Journal notes:
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., Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video or premium cable networks.
An About Face?
It seems that Apple’s interest in original television programming continues to evolve. Until now, the company’s slate of original programming has been limited, at best. It includes an unscripted TV series based on James Corden’s highly popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment, plus an original TV series called “Vital Signs,” based on the life of Beats founder Dr. Dre.
Both series are set to launch in the coming months.
Back in July, Apple’s Eddy Cue said that his company was “not in the business of trying to create TV shows.” Instead the senior vice president, internet software and services said, “If we see it being complementary to the things we’re doing at Apple Music or if we see it being something that’s innovative on our platform, we may help them and guide them and make suggestions.”
We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your take. Should Apple go all-in with Hollywood? Use the comments below.