Apple sets to rival the likes of Netflix and HBO, the Wall Street Journal reports-- the iPhone maker apparently plans to start producing original TV series and possibly even movies.
The WSJ adds such content will be available by end 2017 via Apple Music. As to the genres of such shows, unnamed sources point out HBO's Westworld and Netflix's Stranger Things as comparisons, and say they "don't have any particular relationship to music."
Mind, Apple already confirmed it is working on video content, mind-- last year it announced its music streaming service will be hosting a season of Carpool Karaoke and Vital Signs, a drama starring Beats co-founder turned Apple exec Dr. Dre.
The people familiar with the matter add the "plans are more preliminary," even if rumours of Apple meeting with Hollywood bigwigs have been circulating since last year. Reportedly the company has been in talks about purchasing the rights to scripted TV shows, as well as looking for marketing staff to promote the new content.
"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, Amazon.com’s Prime Video or premium cable networks," the WSJ continues. "Rather, it would escalate the arms race between Apple Music and Spotify, which both offer essentially the same catalog of tens of millions of songs, by adding other content that could distinguish Apple’s service."
Rumours on Apple taking on TV have been swirling around for a while-- at one point Apple was working on live-streaming TV bundle, a plan that was eventually scrapped. A July 2016 Hollywood Reporter interview with Eddy Cue has him tell Apple is "not in the business of trying to create TV shows," but he does admit the company is ready to "help" producers with any TV project "complimentary to the things we're doing at Apple Music."