Report: Apple exploring original video programming

Apple may soon be competing with HBO, Netflix and Amazon — not to mention the Hollywood studios.

The iPhone maker is exploring creating original video programming, Variety reported on Monday afternoon, citing unnamed sources. Apple has held initial talks with Hollywood executives recently about their interest in potentially leading such an effort, Variety said.

The company is interested in both developing and producing video content and plans to hire a headhunting firm soon to fill positions in those areas, the entertainment news outlet reported.

Variety did not know whether Apple was interested in movies or TV series. It was also unclear whether Apple intends to create its own studio or whether it plans to work with existing production companies, Variety said.

Apple has had a long interest in video. It was one of the first companies to start selling digitally delivered movies and television shows. Its Apple TV device, one of the earliest and most popular digital set-top boxes, streams online videos to the television.

Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly been working for years on a video service that would be distributed through its Apple TV set-top box. That service reportedly would seek to replace the pay TV services consumers have traditionally gotten from cable and satellite companies, but would be delivered over the Internet.

Many traditional and Internet video channels have been stepping up their efforts at original programming as a way to lower their costs and increase profits. In recent years, Netflix has scored big with “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” On Sunday, Netflix announced that it had declined to renew its deal with Epix — and thus would lose access to movies like “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “World War Z”  — in order to focus on its own original movies.

File photo: Eddy Cue, Apple’s executive in charge of its media efforts, at a company event in 2012. (Gary Reyes/ Staff)


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