Apple is reportedly thinking of venturing into the significant new business of original TV shows and movies, according to sources by the Wall Street Journal.
Such a move would widen Apple's presence in Hollywood and will allow it to better challenge rivals in a variety of industries such as Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon.
Original Content For Apple Music
According to the Wall Street Journal report's sources, the original content will be made available to Apple Music subscribers who pay the monthly fee of $10. Apple Music currently offers documentary-style videos on artists, but these content are far from the programs that Apple is said to be planning for the service.
Apple is said to have been in discussion with veteran producers over the past few months on possibly acquiring the rights to scripted TV programs. The company is said to have also reached out to experienced marketing executives from networks and studios in a bid to hire them for the promotion of Apple's future original content.
In addition to TV programs, Apple said to these executives that the company also has preliminary plans of going into the production of original movies, sources indicated.
Apple executives have apparently told Hollywood connections that they are planning to launch original scripted content by the end of this year.
Apple's Current Projects On Video Content
Apple currently has three projects for unique video content, though none of them fit the traditional mold of scripted TV programs. The first is the spinoff of the "Carpool Karaoke" segment of The Late Late Show hosted by James Corden, which recently revealed that that series will feature a changing roster of hosts.
Apple is also working on Planet of the Apps, which is a reality show that will feature developers creating apps, highlighting the development process and any deals being made with producers that include Jessica Alba, will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow, and others.
The third project is Vital Signs, a six-episode semi-biography that chronicles the rise of Dr. Dre through fictional scenes.
Why Is Apple Thinking Of Producing Original Content
Apple has come to a pivotal moment of its history, as it saw its first annual decline in sales since 2001. While the iPhone has continued to be the company's central product, sales have started to flatten out for the device as consumers upgrade their iPhone models less often or switch to cheaper or more customizable smartphones made by other brands.
Apple has not yet found a product or service that could provide it with the massive sales growth that the iPhone once had, but analysts think that selling content can at least be part of the answer.
Should Spotify, Netflix, And Amazon Worry?
Apple Music has struggled to catch up to the massive subscriber numbers of rival Spotify, but a move into original content will likely boost the service's subscriptions and potentially lessen the gap between the two music streaming apps.
Netflix, however, might be able to relax despite the announcement, as offering original content is being seen as an added value for Apple Music and not an outright challenge to video streaming services. Apple looks like it is thinking of releasing a few TV programs and movies, which will not allow it to compete with the dozens of original shows and movies offered by Netflix.
BGC Financial research director and senior technology analyst Colin Gillis, meanwhile, believes that for Apple to become a serious contender in the original content business, it will need to follow Amazon's gameplan of selling hardware basically at cost and then making revenues through other means such as original content and advertising.