We’ve known for a while that Apple has been trying to launch a streaming TV service, but has met resistance from Hollywood studios and networks over pricing and how media will be served up. At one time there was even talk that Apple was creating an actual TV, but as of late we’ve only heard that the Cupertino-based company is seeking to provide a bundled service based on apps and Siri integration.
However, a new report by The Street indicates that Apple may be pushing to create its own content for iTunes customers. The company is said to have been in negotiations with Hollywood studios since last year, and plans to reveal the original content alongside its streaming TV service and the iPhone 7 in September 2016. So far, Apple has not reached an agreement regarding the original content, sources say.
According to the report, negotiations are being spearheaded by senior vice president of Internet sales and software Eddie Cue, along with vice-president of iTunes content Robert Kondrk. Meanwhile, Apple continues to hammer out its streaming TV service as revealed by ESPN president John Skipper in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. The streaming TV service is expected to bolster sales of Apple’s struggling set-top box.
Original content seems to be the theme with streaming video providers. Netflix offers exclusive movies and TV shows such as Daredevil, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous 6 (which is one of many Sandler exclusives to come). Amazon has exclusives for Prime subscribers such as The Man in the High Castle, Transparent, and Mad Dogs.
Original content from Apple could help prove to Hollywood that the company means business. However, over the years we’ve heard talk about fears regarding a possible monopoly of the market on Apple’s part. Those fears have subsided with the growing popularity of competing streaming services like Sling, Netflix, and Hulu.
“Since the beginning of television, content differentiation has been the single most important element driving the business,” Blair Westlake, former chairman of Universal TV told The Street. “Apple undoubtedly recognized that offering programming that is only available on iTunes is a ‘must have,’ just as it is for mainstream TV.”
Two weeks ago, reports surfaced claiming that Apple was actually interested in acquiring Time Warner to accelerate its streaming TV plans. According to the New York Post, Apple would gain access to HBO programming, CNN news, Turner sports and movies, and TV shows from Warner Bros. Eddie Cue is reportedly “keeping tabs” on what’s going on at Time Warner, which could spin off its assets or be sold off entirely.
Apple could potentially disrupt the video streaming subscription industry with a new offering. It was former Apple CEO Steve Jobs who declared that the TV was broken, and set out to transform the way we consume content many years ago. Whether Apple will succeed depends on how the company’s offering will stand out against the other players in the field.