Apple will reportedly try to balance out the decline of iPad sales revenue with new original movie and TV content, The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday. This rumor has been floating around for quite a while now, since at least the summer of 2015 when a similar report from Variety named a similar initiative. Apple has started to move into the market, recently tapping Will.i.am for an original show about apps. The Wall Street Journal suggests Apple’s plans are much broader than that, though.
“The technology giant has been in talks with veteran producers in recent months about buying rights to scripted television programs,” The Wall Street Journal explained, noting Apple plans to start rolling out the shows sometime this year. That move sounds similar to what Netflix and Amazon have been doing.
Both services now offer highly-popular original content, ranging from Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things on Netflix to The Man in the High Castle on Amazon. The Wall Street Journal said Apple may bundle the content into its unlimited music streaming services package but that it doesn’t have plans to invest as much as Amazon or Netflix spend in original content. Apple, which likes to tout that it keeps user data private, will reportedly work to provide that information to Hollywood, one area that would distinguish it from Netflix and could make Apple a bit more appealing to partners in the industry.
We might soon watch Apple TV on Apple TV on our Apple TV
Apple has the groundwork in place to make this happen. Like Amazon – though unlike Netflix – it has its own hardware platform with the Apple TV. It also has its own Apple TV application, which would put Apple’s offerings front and center. It’ll take more than a hardware install base, however. Apple’s going to need a flagship show or movie that draws users in, something like HBO’s Westworld that attracts an audience ready to binge on new content. That’s not easy to do, but it’s something that Netflix and Amazon have both proven is something newcomers can achieve. Can Apple replicate their success?