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iNetwork? Apple could join Netflix, Amazon in offering original streaming TV

After encountering troubles sealing deals with content providers in its efforts to launch its own TV streaming service, Apple may be taking a different tactic and instead focusing on offering its own original content, just as Netflix, Amazon, Crackle, and others do.

Apple began talking to Hollywood creatives near the tail end of 2015, according to a report from The Street. Sources speaking to the reporter said that no deals have been signed yet, so Apple would still be in the very early stages.

Related: iPhone sales are slowing, but Apple’s profits are growing

This would be a fairly hands-off approach, if it does happen. Apple would license content to distribute exclusively, but wouldn’t be very involved in the actual production. This is fairly common — Netflix has used this approach for shows like House of Cards, Narcos, and Orange is the New Black.

Apple’s Eddy Cue is said to be leading the talks with Hollywood executives, which would make sense given his role as the company’s chief entertainment architect. Vice president of iTunes content Robert Kondrk is also said to be involved in the talks.

Of course, just because this could happen doesn’t mean it will happen. It seems Apple look into original content is in its nascent stages, and 9to5 Mac points out that the information comes from a contributor article on The Street, though the reporter in question does have a history of entertainment reporting. The move also makes sense from a business standpoint — especially given Apple’s overflowing coffers.

Related: ESPN says Apple ‘frustrated’ about streaming TV woes while Sling TV nabs new viewers

“Since the beginning of television, content differentiation has been the single most important element driving the business,” former Universal TV chairman Blair Westlake 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.”

The report says that Apple would be planning to unveil this new original content in September, alongside the iPhone 7 and possibly its long-delayed Internet TV service. If this actually is happening, we likely won’t hear much more until closer to the event.

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