Netflix‘s drive to push exclusive, and sometimes completely original, content has driven a wedge between it and long-standing partner Epix. That mentality, however, might be something the streaming service has in common with what could soon be its biggest competitor yet. Various sources are indicating that Apple has more grandiose plans for TV beyond what is normally expected from its much rumored Internet TV service. According to those sources, Cupertino has been trying to woo Hollywood to original content that would fill Apple’s video entertainment lineup.
Part leak, part rumor, and perhaps part wishful thinking. Apple has already been said to do or plan many things, not all of which have come to pass. The idea of Apple becoming its own studio, or at least buy one, is as old as Steve Jobs striking deals to make TV and movie content available on iTunes. There has always been a question, and perhaps even a yearning, for Apple to create its own content, both music and video, but the situation isn’t as simple, or as stable, as it may seem from the outside.
Media companies and technology companies have a tenuous relationship at best. For content providers like studios, streaming services are both a boon and a bane, posing as both customers of their content as well as competitors in the market. Apple, who already competes with the likes of Netlfix and Amazon in video and Spotify and Rdio in audio, would only serve to exacerbate the situation.
But Apple might also be in real need of its own content, at least as a stopgap solution. The company is expected to unveil a new Apple TV next week, the first after a long lull in the device line, but it might come with one important piece of the puzzle: TV content. Getting media companies on board with its plans for Internet TV has proven to be more difficult that securing licenses for music, says various sources. That pay TV subscription could come at a much later date. In the meantime, Apple could fill in the void with its own original content.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, and it would be an enterprise that would cost it a lot, especially in terms of money. While Apple has danced with original content to some extent in its new Apple Music service, a full fledged original TV series or movie would exponentially be more expensive. Not that Apple doesn’t have the coffers to make that possible, but it’s all a matter of whether such a business would make sound business sense at this point in time.