Apple plans to create original TV shows like 'Westworld' in 2017

To help boost Apple Music and to offset slowing device sales, Apple is reportedly making a push into Hollywood for original TV shows and potentially movies.

Apple is apparently considering creating shows that would compete with HBO's "Westworld."

HBO

Apple is aiming to become a player in Hollywood, according to a Wall Street Journal report, and has been in "talks with veteran producers in recent months about buying rights to scripted television programs" that subscribers to Apple's $10-a-month music streaming service could access.

The move is reportedly part of an effort to raise the profile of Apple Music, which has been growing (revenue was up 22 percent in the quarter ending September 24) but still lags well behind Spotify in terms of total subscribers. The effort to boost Apple Music revenue could also help offset slowing sales of iPhone and iPads.

Some other takeaways from the Journal report on Thursday:

  • The shows Apple is looking to develop would reportedly be comparable to HBO's "Westworld" and Netflix's "Stranger Things."
  • While Apple's planning to make a big investment in creating original TV shows and possibly movies, "it doesn't appear" that it's ready to sink the huge sums required to compete head to head with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
  • Apple hasn't bought any scripted content yet.
  • This could "mark a significant turn in strategy for Apple as it starts to become more of a media company, rather than just a distributor of other companies' media." Until now, it's been limited to producing a series about Dr. Dre, the rapper turned Apple music exec, that's scheduled to appear later this year.
  • Apple hopes to offer "original scripted content by the end of 2017."

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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