Apple is looking to hire a programming chief for original content, according to The Information. In a quest to find a suitable candidate, the iPhone maker reportedly met with former HBO President and Programming Lead Michael Lombardo to talk about Apple’s programming strategy.
Apple’s TV effort so far
Lombardo stepped down as HBO president in early 2016 to become a producer as he was looking for a more active creative role. Lombardo, who was the head of programming at HBO for over eight years, has made enormous contributions in launching programs such as Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley.
Apple has been working towards original programming, and efforts so far have resulted in several acquisitions, including the purchase of rights to the TV series Carpool Karaoke, a spinoff of a segment from CBS’ The Late Show with James Corden. There were also reports that the company was producing a “semi-autobiographical” drama miniseries with rapper and music producer Dr. Dre, notes Fortune.
At present, Apple’s video efforts are being led by executive Jimmy Iovine and SVP of Internet and Software Service Eddy Cue. Both Iovine and Cue stated in recent interviews that they not only want to tap pop culture but also go ahead with production of original shows such as Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, notes AppleInsider.
What Apple plans to do about original content
Apple was seen as a major contender to invest in original content after players such as Netflix and Amazon were riding high on the success of their original content strategies. Even Apple has long hinted at its intentions towards becoming a video production house, but the company is taking calculated steps towards this. Both original shows were produced in partnership with outside parties, and beyond that, there are no indications that it is aggressively looking to produce original content, notes AppleInsider.
In January, even CEO Tim Cook stated that the company is “putting their toe in the water” on original programming and will follow a wait-and-see approach. Cook said that they are looking to launch original content under Apple Music and learn from it.
However, in March, there were reports that Apple was attempting to recruit some of the most notable names among Hollywood TV and film producers to build its original content library. It was believed that the company was in talks with Imagine Entertainment for “first look” distribution or even purchases.
What to expect at WWDC
Meanwhile, Apple is ready to release some new software surprises at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). There are reports that Apple has big plans for the show. At the event, the iPhone maker is expected to discuss mobile and desktop operating systems (iOS and macOS).
But the main attraction could be the smart home and how the company is looking to fuel its tablet division with a new iPad, notes Fortune. Apple tvOS could also be a possibility, given its interest in original content. There are also reports that the company will talk about improvements to Apple Music and its original content.
Apple’s WWDC starts June 5 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.