Apple has been moving forward with plans to develop original video series, but its efforts have been "disorganized," according to industry sources who spoke with Fast Company. In a look at Apple's video ambitions, FastCo reports that Apple has yet to present a totally coherent strategy for making and developing content to its partners, which could explain its slow movement into the space.
The report suggests that Apple is taking two approaches to original video. First, it wants to create shorter series specifically for Apple Music. This has been previously touched on by Recode. Both publications say these videos are meant to drive Apple Music subscriptions.
Apple wants huge talent to make huge hits
And second, FastCo says that Apple is moving in the direction of creating its own original TV shows the same way Netflix has. It's reportedly hoping to find "several massive hits" at once — now, on one hand, what content creator doesn't want several massive hits? But on the other, it speaks to Apple's ambitions here. If FastCo is right, Apple wants to be a destination for great TV, not just another streaming provider with another set of shows to watch. What remains unclear is whether this too would become part of Apple Music, or if Apple could potentially split these off into a separate offering.
Apple was apparently out mingling at Sundance in an attempt to find partners for this new venture. FastCo says it's targeting "triple A-list" talent. You can see that to some extent with what has leaked out of Apple so far. It's making a short series both about and starring Dr. Dre, and it's working on a reality show about app developers that involves Will.i.am. Those aren't necessarily "triple A" names in the TV world, but at least as Apple Music promotion, they make a lot of sense.
It's not stated who else, if anyone, Apple has managed to bring on board as a content creator. The indication that these efforts aren't completely nailed down inside of Apple might be part of that. But it's easy to imagine why Apple is taking so long: moving into original content isn't easy. Not every Netflix series makes it big, Amazon had a few years of flopped pilots before it found Transparent, and Hulu still has nothing. Apple may be hoping to make a strong first impression.