Apple is launching a show about apps and their makers, titled “Planet of the Apps”, as well as a Carpool Karaoke spinoff this spring, marking its first two original reality shows. However, the company’s overall programming strategy when it comes to original video content production is still a moving target as to what exactly it wants to do in that space, several people in the industry have told Mashable.
The publication claims Apple is quietly gearing up for a major content offensive, but cautions that its leadership isn’t sure what the company will focus on or who’s going to be in charge.
“As of right now, there isn’t a structural approach,” a source said. “There’s been a little bit of a moving target as to what exactly their plan is.” This is precisely what The New York Post reported last month, alleging that senior Apple executives were clashing over who gets to secure major Hollywood deals.
Multiple sources told Mashable that Apple’s head of content Eddy Cue and other top executives have been meeting with film and TV veterans, including with top dogs at Paramount Pictures and Sony TV.
Other people familiar with Apple’s plans say the firm has upped its physical spaces in Los Angeles recently and is planning to expand its real estate footprint in the city to accommodate more hires and potential studio space.
“One such location is in Culver City, a stone’s throw from Sony Pictures Entertainment,” says Mashable. “The location has in part fueled rumors that Apple could be looking to acquire the entertainment division, which is reportedly exploring a sale.”
Showtime’s COO Tom Christie told Mashable during the SXSW entertainment festival in Austin, Texas that Apple could look upon Showtime as new distribution opportunities. “Ultimately the more distributors the better for the consumers and the better opportunity for Showtime to get sold,” he said.
Recode recently alleged that that the iPhone maker could be considering offering a “premium TV bundle” with content from the networks HBO, Showtime and Starz. While Apple was reportedly planning a panel at SXSW, it later changed its mind for reasons unknown.
Apple’s Eddy Cue said at the Code conference in February that they were not attempting to gain a foothold in Hollywood by buying and distributing a bunch of TV shows.
“We’re trying to do some things we think are creative and can move culture and we think that Apple can add some value to,” he said, adding that Apple is interested in working on “a lot more content and a lot more unique things that haven’t been seen before.”
Apple declined to comment for Mashable’s story.