Apple's Eddy Cue: Nope, we don't want to be Netflix

Apple is testing the waters of original programming, but Eddy Cue says don't expect the company to dive in headfirst.

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Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
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Apple may have courage, but that doesn't mean it will tackle original programming on a Netflix-like scale.

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, said the original shows Apple is developing today are going to stay limited.

"You're not seeing a huge number of them," he said. "The real opportunity for us is to make it easier to get access to all this content."

Cue was speaking Thursday at the annual Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, which brings together big names in the business, technology and entertainment worlds. He appeared on stage with Richard Plepler, HBO's chairman
 and CEO.

Apple and HBO are cozy, highlighted by the launch of HBO Now on Apple devices last year. The premium channel's first standalone subscription app was one of the most highly anticipated of its kind, and HBO granted Apple an exclusive on sign-ups: If you wanted to be among the first to try it, and catch the season premiere of "Game of Thrones," you had to sign up through an Apple product.

But Apple has long been grappling to put together its own TV service, and it's starting to create its own original programming, like a reality-TV-style series about app developers and a scripted show with Dr. Dre.

On stage, Cue noted that Apple's original-video efforts will revolve around topics in which it already has expertise, like music-related programming related to iTunes and Apple Music.

Separately, Plepler dismissed the notion that HBO would start selling subscriptions to its individual shows, dashing the idea that a "Game of Thrones" or "Westworld" fanatic could pay for that single slice of its network. "We want to get you inside, and once we do that...you're going to find other things that you like," he said.