Netflix wants to be the next HBO, and it looks like Apple may want to be the next Netflix. Apple may be planning on offering its own original content through Apple TV, much like the streaming video service Netflix does today. The idea that Apple may be planning on launching its own exclusive content isn't new, but this is the first time it's come up recently—and it's finally something the iPhone and iPad maker might be able to pull off.
This new Apple original content report comes via insider sources speaking with Variety. They claim Apple has had talks with Hollywood studios in recent weeks about original content deals, and that the company is planning on hiring the talent it needs to produce and manage the shows it wants for its streaming video service.
Reports of Apple's plans for a TV show and movie studio setup first cropped up when Steve Jobs was still CEO, but so far nothing has come of the rumors. This time, however, we have word that Apple has been reaching out to studios, which makes look like the company is much more serious about getting its original content production plans off the ground.
If so, Apple will be stepping into territory that so far has belonged to Netflix. The company started as a through-the-mail DVD rental service, then expanded into on demand TV show and movie streaming. Netflix still offers those services, but now also produces its own original TV shows and movies.
In the past, making the jump from selling or renting TV shows and movies through the iTunes Store into original content seemed at least remotely plausible because it would help set Apple apart from other streaming services. What Apple didn't have was experience with original content production, or a market that had proven itself to be interested in shows coming from outside the traditional studio system.
Netflix changed that in a big way when it started producing original high caliber content
in shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Marvel's Daredevil, Bloodline, and Sense8. If Netflix can move into what's been HBO's territory, and now Amazon with shows like Transparent and Bosch, then it's possible Apple can, too.
What makes Apple original content rumors different now is that Netflix has already shown it's possible to successfully produce quality shows outside of the traditional studio system, and Apple has Beats 1 Radio: The company's first real venture into producing ongoing original content.
Beats 1 Radio is Apple's live streaming Internet radio station with big name DJs including Zane Lowe. Granted, that's not the same as producing TV shows and movies, but it is a good place to start if you want to test out the idea before committing real resources.
Don't expect to get a surprise Apple Studios announcement during the company's September 9 media event where new iPhone and Apple TV models will likely make their first appearance. Apple hasn't done much more than hold some meetings to see if going down the path of original video content is worth exploring.
Until then, we'll have to be content waiting for waiting for Netflix's new seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, BoJack Horseman, and Marco Polo.