This is the Cupertino-based tech giant’s first big push into original content, and could put it on the path of a potential showdown with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
For long, there has been tremendous speculation about Apple’s intentions of going head-on with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Showtime and HBO by creating its own line-up of original TV shows and movies. And now, we may be seeing the very first steps in that direction. The Cupertino-based tech giant is teaming up with singer, songwriter, rapper, entrepreneur, actor, musician, record producer, and philanthropist Will.i.am and producers Ben Silverman(executive producer of the TV show The Office) and media industry executive Howard T. Owens, to launch a new TV series about app developers, according to The New York Post.
Apple will distribute the content across all its devices—iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iMac and MacBook as well as the Apple TV streaming boxes. In most likelihood, it will be a part of the iTunes Store, which also sells music and rents out TV shows and movies from other networks.
“We’ve been focused on a lot of content around Apple Music, video is a big part of it and we’ll do more of those (shows). This was another opportunity right up our alley with apps,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, told The Post.
At present, any further details about the show are sketchy, including the financing structure, storylines or the number of episodes.
Apple has, for years, been trying to figure out a way to crack the global television streaming ecosystem and create a cable-TV alternative on the lines of Netflix and Hulu. There have been reports of multiple layers of discussions with TV companies for content over the past 12 months, but they haven’t worked out the way Apple wanted.
But perhaps safety is the point. Just as Apple is making a scripted show with Dr. Dre in part to help market the Apple Music streaming service, Apple’s app show could serve as a marketing device for the app store, or perhaps the new Apple TV. Cue told the New York Times that the app series doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is going to expand into bigger movie or TV projects. For now, the company seems content to stay in its comfort zone.
Meanwhile Apple’s much more ambitious TV endeavor—an internet television service, akin to Sling TV or Playstation Vue—is on pause after the company had a hard time securing deals with enough networks to make such a service worthwhile.