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Apple reportedly planning to launch its own TV shows this year

Apple is well aware that a good deal of the money in the tech world is made with content. That’s why it’s looking to get in on the original programming scene that Amazon and Netflix have been having such success with. By the end of 2017, Apple will have its own scripted, original content and there’s even a suggestion it could start making movies in the future.

Apple Music fans will be pleased to learn that, as the rumor coming out of the WallStreetJournal’s report (via 9to5Mac) has it, access to these shows will be bundled into existing subscriptions. This would be another parallel of Amazon’s strategy of including much of its original programming and other content as part of its Prime service, which also offers free postage, music, and Ebooks.

Even as it adopts this proven strategy in terms of subscription systems, purportedly Apple wants to bolster its Music service in order to compete more directly with Spotify. The latest numbers suggest that Apple Music is currently used by around 20 million people, which while impressive, isn’t a patch on Spotify’s 40 million-plus subscriber base, not to mention its 10s of millions of ad-based freeloaders.

This wasn’t necessarily Apple’s original plan with its first-party programming, though. The initial plan was to team up with existing networks to showcase content or to stream it through Apple’s own services, but no deal could be struck, so now Apple is looking to go it alone.

Apple has previously shown an interest in programming that complements its Apple Music service, and it is believed that one of its first series will be the project Vital Signs, which is expected to be a gritty, semi-autobiographical series about the music business starring Apple’s own Dr. Dre, alongside Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and Mo McCrae (Sons of Anarchy). The company is also currently said to be working on a competitive app-based reality show, called Planet of the Apps.

Updated by Ryan Waniata 1-12-2017: added more information about Apple’s scripted content, including the series starring Dr. Dre, Vital Signs.