Two executives of Sony Pictures Television have been hired by Apple as the tech giant seeks to expand into developing original video content in a field that is already dominated by online streaming services and Hollywood studios. The two executives, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, will be joining Apple in positions that have been newly created.
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” Apple’s internet Software and Services senior vice president at Apple, Eddy Cue, said.
Some of the hit shows that Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are responsible for include The Crown for Netflix; Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad for AMC; The Goldbergs for ABC and The Blacklist for NBC. The two have been senior executives at Sony since 2005.
Though Apple did not reveal its strategy including how much it will be allocating to original video programming or when such content will start becoming available, the hiring of the two demonstrates that the Cupertino, California-based tech giant is seriously committing to producing quality video content. Apple will, however, be entering a field where Netflix and Amazon have a head start. The two firms have already invested billions in video content that has attracted Hollywood stars such as Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in the case of Netflix’s political drama House of Cards.
Video content arms race
Other tech companies that are making a foray into developing original video content includes Facebook which has signed deals with creators of entertainment and news content focused on millenials such as Buzzfeed and Vox with a view to developing content for an upcoming Facebook video service.
Last week, Apple launched a reality program known as Planet of the Apps which is an unscripted show which revolves around developers who are seeking venture capital funding for their tech ideas. The show is now available to Apple Music subscribers whose monthly subscription fee is $10. Other television-like shows that Apple has been associated with includes Vital Signs, which is the first scripted show by the iPhone maker and which is expected to be unveiled on Apple Music sometime later in the year. Apple Music has also been buying documentaries.
One advantage Apple has over other firms is that it has a lucrative ecosystem as currently there are approximately 1 billion devices which run on iOS, the operating system of Apple’s mobile devices.