Most people think of Apple as a hardware company. The Cupertino giant makes physical things: computers, phones, tablets, watches, and maybe a self-driving car. Sure, Apple makes software as well, but it’s really in service of the devices, and operating systems aside, isn’t that compelling. I doubt that I’m alone in grouping all the native iOS Apple apps into a folder and burying it three screens deep on my iPhone (since you can’t delete them).
But according to a story in Variety, Apple is thinking about getting into the content business. The story notes that Apple has been quietly meeting with Hollywood executives to gauge their interest in creating original programming. If it’s true, it would put Apple in competition with other streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
It is unclear if Apple would try to develop television shows or movies or both. But the company reportedly tried to lure the Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond after they left the BBC. The trio eventually signed a deal with Amazon.
Apple has an event scheduled for September 9, at which it is widely believed the company will reveal an updated Apple TV. By creating its own content, the company could create a coveted “walled garden” in which Apple content could be viewed on Apple devices utilizing Apple technology.
A move could also signal a shift away from the iTunes a la carte pricing structure, in which users pay for individual shows and movies, to a subscription-based one, similar to Netflix, where users pay a monthly fee and can watch as much as they want. Apple has already made a similar transition with the launch of Apple Music.