According to an article from Ben Fritz at the Wall Street Journal, Apple is preparing a move into original content production, as it seeks to take on the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. A move that could make it a bigger player in Hollywood, and offset slowing sales of iPhones and iPads.
Apple sources indicated, that the original content programming would be available to subscribers of Apple’s $10-a-month streaming-music service, which has struggled to catch up to the larger Spotify AB. Apple Music already includes a limited number of documentary-style segments on musicians, but nothing like the premium programming it is now seeking.
Talks have allegedly already been held with “veteran producers” regarding both original TV shows, and movies.
This is not Apple’s first foray into original content, with it acquiring the Carpool Karaoke TV series fronted by James Corden in July 2016. However, this would be a significant enhancement of these ambitions, looking to compete with the likes of HBO’s Westworld, and Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Apple has been flirting for years with whether and how it should enter the entertainment business. It held talk with television companies about offering a “skinny bundle” of networks over the internet, but was never able to reach terms. It also approached Time Warner Inc. last year about a possible merger before that company agreed to be acquired by AT&T Inc.
The move into original content comes as Apple is grappling with a slowdown in its traditional business. Last year it missed its own internal revenue targets for the first time in at least seven years as sales of the iPhone 6s fell short of expectations. Sales of the iPhone, which turned Apple into the world’s most profitable company, have slowed amid rising competition, particularly in China.
Executives at Apple have told people in Hollywood they hope to start offering original scripted content by the end of 2017.