A new report by The Wall Street Journal claims Apple is working to offer original scripted shows, possibly including movies, by the end of 2017. The new content — said to be comparable to HBO’s Westworld and Netflix’s Stranger Things — Would be available to Apple Music subscribers.
The Cupertino firm has already announced the production of two original series, Carpool Karaoke and Vital Signs. Both of those series are related to the usual musical offerings offered up to Apple Music customers. The new series and movies “don’t have any particular relationship to music.”
Rumors have floated the bowl since last year that the folks in Cupertino have been meeting with Hollywood executives in an effort to create original TV series and other content for Apple Music, and possibly iTunes. The company’s interest in producing original films “are more preliminary,” according to the report’s sources.
Apple’s moves in the original video content arena are seen as a move to bolster its position against Apple Music competitor Spotify, and not as an attempt to compete with the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
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.
The iPhone maker has reportedly indicated it would share its viewer and demographic data on viewers with content producers. Netflix has always held viewership data close to the vest, making it difficult to know exactly what is performing well on the streaming service. Netflix’s position on the matter “has been a source of contention among some in Hollywood.”