Andrew Wallenstein, reporting for Variety:
The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving: Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business.
This isn’t about if Apple can become a Netflix. With 200 billion in the bank, it only comes down to it they want to. And with that being said, I see them getting into the original content business. Movies and episodic series could be in their future.
The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked, but one high-level executive who talked with the company said the goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix. Apple is hoping to put a headhunting firm on those hires in the coming months, according to source, with the goal of being in operation next year. Unknown is whether the focus is on TV series, movies–or both.
Such a move would have huge implications in the content world, potentially setting up a showdown with other streaming juggernauts including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Apple’s entry would sharpen a double-edged sword those companies are already swinging at Hollywood: A powerful new competitor that could steer eyeballs away from the traditional pay-TV world but also possibly a new buyer for content from existing studios.