News

Apple's Secretly Looking to Make Its Own Netflix-Like Service

Published On 01/12/2017 Published On 01/12/2017

Apple has long harbored intentions to carve out territory in the entertainment industry. Last month, it was revealed the company was approaching Hollywood executives about acquiring early access to blockbuster movies, to be enjoyed as “high-priced rentals” on iTunes. Now, according to a report in the Wall St. Journal, the Cupertino tech giant appears to be eyeing original video content as well, in a move that would see it compete for viewership in an arena heavily dominated by Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Apple has its sights set on “original scripted content,” which it intends to pair with its $10-per-month Apple Music subscription by the end of 2017. The endeavor is reportedly meant to stave off the consequences of declining iPhone 6s sales. It will also appease the chorus of angry customers who tweeted hostility at the company over the course of its financially bad 2016.

It’s clear Apple would like to morph into an entertainment powerhouse, as offering original video content would allow it to fend off competition from one of its perennial competitors, Spotify. Currently, the streaming monolith maintains a robust user-base of 40 million, while Apple Music's crests at 20 million subscribers. Apple would be further set apart from Spotify by offering access to shows and movies, hypothetically allowing subscriptions -- and therefore revenue streams -- to balloon. 

The company’s push for original video content also gives it a breath of fresh air, as it’s mainly rested on its laurels the last several years, failing to launch consumer products that conjure the revolutionary hype inspired by the iPhone. (On the contrary, the iPhone 7 managed to get many Apple fans fuming.) According to the report, Apple executives have already initiated talks with high-level Hollywood producers, and are keen on buying scripts for television shows and even movies, although the latter appears to be in a more preliminary stage.

This has all been precipitated by warning signs: Last July, Apple acquired the rights to a 30-min version of “Carpool Karaoke,” which everyone knows as the beloved segment from The Late Late Show with James Corden. While the company might not be placing all of its stock in the late night host, it's a clear signal of where it eventually sees itself: dominating the entertainment world by way of imminent shows and performers.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster. 

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