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Apple Seeking Programming Chief to Lead Video Efforts

Apple is looking for a programming chief, suggesting the company is serious about delving further into original programming, reports The Information.

In its search to find someone to lead its video efforts, Apple is said to have met with former HBO president and programming lead Michael Lombardo earlier this year to "discuss Apple's video programming strategy." Lombardo left his high-profile role as HBO president in early 2016 to become a producer because he wanted a more active creative role.


Lombardo is currently producing a show for HBO, but given his meeting with Apple, it's possible the company is considering him for the head programming role. Apple is said to be actively seeking to fill the position, which could answer some questions Hollywood has about the company's video plans.
While the company has taken on a few projects like reality competition show "Planet of the Apps" and the "Carpool Karaoke" series, many in Hollywood have been flummoxed by what exactly Apple wants to do with video. Questions include how far Apple wants to go in making its own shows and whether it wants to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
Apple CEO Tim Cook in January said that Apple has a "toe in the water" testing original television programming, so it's possible Apple itself doesn't yet know how far it wants to go with original content. In early May, Cook said in an interview that Apple is experimenting with original content and learning from that experience. "We're learning and we'll see where this takes us," he said.

Apple has several original television programs in the works, including "Carpool Karaoke," "Planet of the Apps," and "Vital Signs," with the two former shows having already been announced, but none of the content has debuted as of yet.

Apple is planning to use the television shows to promote its Apple Music service, with Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue saying Apple is not aiming to compete with Netflix, but there have been hints suggesting the company's content ambitions could perhaps run deeper than simple Apple Music promotion.

January rumors indicated Apple was building a "significant" business around original television shows with plans to launch content in the vein of HBO's "Westworld" and Netflix's "Stranger Things," and in February, Eddy Cue reportedly met with execs from Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures in pursuit of a "transformative acquisition."

Apple's television plans have, however, fallen through so many times over the years due to negotiation difficulties that it's unclear how original content will pan out.

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Top Rated Comments

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33 months ago
The market is becoming even more fragmented than ever. Luckily I don't watch enough tv to care :D
Rating: 10 Votes
33 months ago
Less programming and more programming please!
Rating: 9 Votes
33 months ago
Apple needs to stop trying to do too much. Simply focus on the products that made you great. I want an awesome Macbook Pro, not a TV show.
Rating: 9 Votes
33 months ago
Oh com'on man... clearly a show about nerds & apps is a far superior place to focus effort than new Mac computers:eek:

Read through these threads around here: hardly anyone wants updated Macs but everyone is buzzing about Planet of the Apps & similar. ;)
Rating: 4 Votes
33 months ago
Well, I'm no programming chief. But Apple could start off by not creating stupid ****. Stick to the hardware. Thanks.
Rating: 3 Votes
33 months ago
Oh Spotify is streaming music... Gotta do that.
Oh Tesla is making electric AI driven cars... Gotta do that.
Oh Amazon & Google are making home voice driven hubs... Gotta do that
Oh Netflix & Amazon are producing original content... Gotta do that

Yo, like stop.
Rating: 3 Votes
33 months ago

Apple needs to stop trying to do too much. Simply focus on the products that made you great. I want an awesome Macbook Pro, not a TV show.

Certainly feels like they're spreading themselves too thin.
Rating: 3 Votes
33 months ago
Watch them not update the Mac Pro but make a show about it.
[doublepost=1494907653][/doublepost]

Oh Spotify is streaming music... Gotta do that.
Oh Tesla is making electric AI driven cars... Gotta do that.
Oh Amazon & Google are making home voice driven hubs... Gotta do that
Oh Netflix & Amazon are producing original content... Gotta do that

Yo, like stop.

I imagine this is how all those manufacturing companies in Japan that make nearly everything came about.
[doublepost=1494907829][/doublepost]

The issue then comes when different people disagree on what Apple ought to focus on, and that the products which made them great in the first place may simply no longer be relevant in the long run.

This wasn't an issue when Jobs just forced everything to be the way he wanted... and mostly did it right despite going against the grain.
Rating: 2 Votes
33 months ago
I hope that networks holding out on streaming will be there demise. All of these tech giants are perfectly capable of making better content without them. Amazon and Netflix are already proving this. I hope Apple joins in on the movement.
Rating: 1 Votes
33 months ago
Buy Netflix. There's no need to reinvent the wheel and we don't need yet another streaming service. Netflix has great content, great mindshare, and has more than proven itself. Buy them, ditch DVDs, and use some of that cash hoard to pour gasoline on the fire.

I really don't see how Apple can break into the original content space in a meaningful way short of an acquisition. They are struggling to make Apple Music truly happen, despite a huge built-in customer base. They haven't been able to dethrone Spotify, quite the opposite really. Do they really need another ho-hum service?

I'm generally opposed to the idea of Apple making big acquisitions, but I think Netflix makes a lot of sense. The other one I'd like to see happen is Nintendo, but I'm afraid that ship has sailed now that Nintendo has watered down their brand by producing apps for various mobile platforms.
Rating: 1 Votes

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