WSJ: Apple to launch original scripted TV shows and premium movies on Apple Music this year

A new report by The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple will push deeper into premium entertainment with original movies and scripted television shows by the end of the year, including serialized drama and feature-length pieces. The plan calls for premium shows along the lines of HBO’s “Westworld” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” that don’t have any particular relationship to music.

Unlike existing Apple-produced video content offered on Apple Music like music videos, a documentary about Roland’s famous drum machine, a scripted drama starring Dr. Dre or the upcoming shows such as Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, Apple is aiming to buy rights to scripted television programs, not produce them on its own.

“Executives at Apple have told people in Hollywood they hope to start offering original scripted content by the end of 2017,” according to people familiar with the matter who spoke with the newspaper. The iPhone maker allegedly told producers that it would even share details on how many people are watching the content.

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

Because it is looking at just a handful of carefully selected shows, and potentially films, it doesn’t appear Apple is preparing to spend the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars it would need to spend annually to become a direct competitor to Netflix Inc., Inc.’s Prime Video or premium cable networks.

The report states that Apple approached veteran producers in recent months about buying rights to scripted television programs and has talked with marketing executives at studios and networks to discuss hiring them to promote its content.

The Cupertino company is reportedly serious about building “a significant new business” in original programming.

By offering unique scripted content, Apple aims to attract users to its ecosystem and boost Apple Music subscriptions because this rumored new content would be allegedly made available to Apple Music subscribers.

Source: The Wall Street Journal