Apple is reportedly getting into original programming. According to Variety, the iPhone maker has begun meeting with big Hollywood executives to get a feel for interest. There are conflicting reports about just how serious Apple is about original programming, but one source told Variety that the Cupertino company wants to create both movies and TV shows.
Next month, Apple is expected to unleash a new Apple TV, and possibly even a new service focused on live channels, similar to Sling TV. But that just might be a small part of a very large plan. Earlier this summer, Apple allegedly tried to secure the services of Top Gear stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond following their departure from BBC, but Amazon eventually won out.
Variety doesn’t provide many specifics, and, indeed, it sounds like whatever Apple has cooking is in the very early stages. One possibility is for Apple to follow Netflix’s model, which works with outside production companies to create original content; another alternative is for Apple to set up its own in-house studio, though Microsoft attempted that and it didn’t quite work out.
At this stage, it’s unclear how Apple will proceed. The company has dabbled in the indie circuit over the years by snatching up films from festival circuits and distributing that content on iTunes. However, Variety stops short of saying whether Apple has plans to offer a subscription-based service, or one based on single transactions.
With services like Amazon Prime and Netflix growing in stature, and other potential services on the horizon, it appears the next big content frontier will be original programming. If we want to well and truly get away from cable TV, companies will need to start churning out the content people want to see. Apple will be entering a crowded and fiercely competitive market, but it certainly has the warchest to do so.
It’s highly unlikely we’ll see any formal mentions of such an effort at next week’s Apple event. But by this time next year, the new Apple TV might be much more of a living room focus than we’ve ever seen.