Apple is reportedly preparing for a major push into original programming, including serialized drama and feature-length films, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Apparently the plan is to offer the original content as part of its existing $10-a-month Apple Music service by the end of 2017.
The report claims that Apple has been negotiating with producers in recent months to purchase the rights for scripted television, as well as meeting with marketing executives at studios and networks to see if they are willing to help promote Apple-distributed content. In an effort to lure producers, Apple would reportedly be open to sharing ratings and demographic information with the studios it partner with — Netflix doesn’t share any such information with its content creators.
Apple Music already includes some content centered on musicians, including a documentary about the influence of Roland’s TR-808 drum machine. It also bought the rights to Carpool Karaoke and is reportedly working on a semi-biographical series chronicling Dr. Dre's rise called “Vital Signs.”
The new content will be more in line with what the likes of Netflix and Amazon are doing. Bundling original video content with Apple Music should help it catch up with Spotify’s larger subscriber base.