Following in the wake of Netflix’s success with original programming, sources within Apple have been reported to be reaching out to studio executives in regards to creating television shows and movies exclusively distributed by the Cupertino-based company.
Detailed by Variety earlier today, Apple wants to start hiring a development team before the end of the year and begin production as soon as early 2016. With more than $200 billion in cash reserves, Apple could also just purchase a production studio with a proven track record that would develop original content.
According to sources, the development team would report directly to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. Of course, this isn’t Apple’s first venture into original content. Apple was reported to have made an offer to former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond to develop a show for American audiences; a deal that was eventually made by Amazon. Apple is also a significant player in the distribution of independent films.
At this time, the structure of how Apple’s original content would be offered to the public is still unclear. Apple doesn’t have a subscription-based streaming model at the moment like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. All content is sold at a premium cost through iTunes rather than a pay-per-month deal for access to a large library of licensed content.
Hypothetically, Apple could make original content exclusively available on iTunes for no cost, assuming someone owns an Apple device to access it. If limited to the Apple TV platform, that would certainly be a selling feature for the rumored $200 hardware, assuming the quality of the original television shows and movies is excellent.
Alternatively, Apple Music may serve as the future business model to distribute Apple’s original video programming. Of course, consumers will likely have to wait a significant length of time to check out the first original television shows or movies produced by Apple. More details may be announced at Apple’s press event on September 9, 2015.