Apple has been eyeing the streaming video market for some time now, but none of those efforts have yet put the iPhone maker on the map as far as streamed video content is concerned. With Netflix, Amazon and others going gung-ho around the world, Apple finally has serious plans to bring quality original programming to Apple Music.
To make it happen, Apple has recruited two ex-Sony Pictures Television executives to head this initiative. But they’re not just ordinary ex-employees with the skills to produce shows. These are Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the guys behind Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul (AMC), Sneaky Pete (Amazon Prime Video) and The Crown (Netflix.)
These gentlemen will be reporting to Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, who said:
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”
These are heavy hitters in the world of original TV programming. And Apple certainly needs this kind of brain muscle working deep inside Apple Music.
This is merely a first step, but a decisive one. It’s clear that Apple has big plans for Apple Music, which currently has over 27 million paid subscribers, a little more than half of global streaming music leader Spotify’s 50 million paid members.
Apple recently debuted Planet of the Apps on Apple Music, with Carpool Karaoke: The Series coming later in the summer.
The company has a long way to go in the streaming video business, but they have a ready user base numbering in the hundreds of millions. Once they start putting out hit shows, Apple Music’s user base is bound to grow, further strengthening their services segment.
You don’t have to be an analyst to realize that Apple is doing everything it can to wean itself off the powerful dependence it has on iPhone sales. Apple Pay, Apple Music, self-driving cars, augmented reality – these are their core focus areas other than the constantly looming worry of “what next for iPhone?”
Hiring ace show producers might look like a minor move, but the implications could be tremendous if things play out the way Apple wants them to.