Apple is allegedly aiming to launch its original TV series around this time next year.
That’s the gist of a New York Times article published Monday which explores what lies ahead for Apple’s upcoming TV show and movie platform.
According to author John Koblin, Apple’s new original video programming may launch as early as March 2019, or somewhere between March 2019 and the summer of that year.
Apple’s plans to make itself into a big player in the entertainment industry are now coming into focus. In recent months, the company has outspent Facebook and YouTube—two other tech companies that have also taken steps into original programming—as well as the traditional TV studios. In a few cases, it has also beaten Netflix in bidding wars.
When Apple began courting producers last year, it said it had a budget of about $1 billion to work with. Now it is becoming clear that the company will blow well past that figure. Perhaps more meaningful, though, is that Apple’s strong brand name and its willingness to write big checks have quickly made it a top draw for show creators and stars.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s services boss and chief content negotiator, said this during a discussion this month at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas:
We don’t know anything about making television. So what skills does Apple bring to that? And the viewpoint is: very little. There’s other things we bring. We know how to create apps, we know how to do distribution, we know how to market. But we don’t really know how to create shows.
Here’s Cue talking to CNNMoney’s Dylan Byers about why the company is creating its own original content rather than acquiring a company like Netflix or Disney.
Producers and entertainment executives told the New York Times Apple’s been leaning toward programming in keeping with its bright, optimistic brand identity.
Apple’s been spending big bucks in the past year or so to build its international video team comprised of seasoned television and Hollywood veterans. The company is producing a dozen different TV projects for its upcoming services, nine of them straight-to-series orders.
It’s also building a new 128,000-square-foot headquarters for its entertainment division in Culver City, California, the former home city of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.