iContent: Apple reportedly exploring originals push

A report in U.S. entertainment trade Variety says the tech giant has had discussions with Hollywood execs around a potential move into original programming. (Pictured: Apple's SVP of Internet software and services Eddy Cue)
September 1, 2015

Tech giant Apple is having discussions with Hollywood executives concerning a potential move into producing original programming, according to a report from U.S. entertainment trade Variety.

The report says that the Apple team exploring the opportunity reports to Eddy Cue (pictured), senior vice president of Internet software and services for the Cupertino, California-headquartered company, and the overseer of Apple’s assorted content stores and its recent Apple Music initiative.

The piece also states that according to a high-level executive who had been in talks with Apple, the company is looking to establish production and development divisions to create long-form content, in a move to take on SVOD service Netflix. According to the article, Apple was one of the suitors chasing the British Top Gear team following its departure from the BBC series – a race that was ultimately won by Amazon Prime.

There has been frequent speculation about when, not if, Apple would enter the original programming fray, but the recent rumors aren’t clear as to what business model the iPhone creators would embrace, or if the move would involve films, episodic content, or both.

Another rumor surrounding Apple’s upcoming product releases, involving a potential move into the virtual reality space, could also be seen as a sign of original content ambitions for the company.

Apple has declined comment thus far regarding the Variety report.

For unscripted content, new arenas appear to be emerging from the digital world, with Amazon advertising for unscripted development and production executives in late July, and more recently, BuzzFeed’s motion pictures division looking for producers with doc and reality experience and West Hollywood-based MCN Machinima looking for development executives that are able to work across multiple genres, including reality, documentary, comedy, action-adventure and animation.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.