Apple Hires Executives From Sony Pictures TV to Lead Push Into Original Programming
Jun 16, 2017 6:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple today announced that television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg will be joining the company to help craft its new slate of original video programming. The two will lead Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale and report to senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue.


Erlicht and Van Amburg are joining Apple from Sony Pictures Television, where they were presidents of the company since 2005 and helped produce shows like AMC's Breaking Bad
and Better Call Saul, Netflix's The Crown, Amazon's Sneaky Pete, and more.

Erlicht said that he and Van Amburg will attempt to create content of "unparalleled quality," matching Apple's success in its other product categories.
“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,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”

“It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team,” said Jamie Erlicht. “We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products — unparalleled quality.”

“Apple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with their products,” said Zack Van Amburg. “We will bring that same intention to Apple’s programming and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead.”
The hiring announcement today represents Apple's latest move into establishing its presence in the original TV production space, and comes on the heels of the debut of the company's first show on Apple Music called Planet of the Apps. Later this summer, Apple Music will also debut Carpool Karaoke: The Series as its next streaming show.

In today's press release, Apple talked up the pair's history for creating diverse content -- from sitcom The Goldbergs to supernatural action comedy Preacher -- but no word was given on the specific kind of television that Erlicht and Van Amburg would be working on for Apple, or when any of the shows they produce might be coming out.


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9 months ago
They lost me at "talented TV executives"
I threw up in my mouth a little.
Rating: 11 Votes
9 months ago

And another TV content provider will arise with it's own subscription. So to see all your favorite TV shows you need:
- Your cable subscription
- Netflix
- Amazon Prime
- Apple TV (soon)

This fragmentation isn't helping anyone. I'll steal my stuff from torrents again and buy the show on DVD if I like a show.


fixed it for ya.
Rating: 6 Votes
9 months ago

I wonder if Apple: knows how many failed projects this pair produced well working at Sony? Having worked with these two several years ago at Sony I can tell you firsthand that they play the numbers game. The more crap they throw against the wall they hope that one or two stick. Google "Gay Robot" and see what results come up that this pair tried to sell to the public while at Sony.

Eddy hired Jimmy Iovine. I don't trust his instinct in hiring people.
Rating: 5 Votes
9 months ago
And another TV content provider will arise with it's own subscription. So to see all your favorite TV shows you need:
- Your cable subscription
- Netflix
- Amazon Prime
- Apple TV (soon)

This fragmentation isn't helping anyone. I'll get my stuff from torrents again and buy the show on DVD if I like a show.
Rating: 5 Votes
9 months ago
Nothing's funnier knowing this will be for Apple Music and not Apple TV.
Rating: 5 Votes
9 months ago
Let's hope they have a new Mac Pro and Pro Display to edit this new 'original content' with. ;)
Rating: 5 Votes
9 months ago

More original content creators is a good thing. The entertainment industry has been locked up by the large conglomerates for too long. I love having niche shows available that aren't entirely dependent on getting ratings competitive with network TV for success.

Another exclusive distributor, on the other hand, really sucks. That is going three steps backward from what the freedom of the internet is supposed to offer. Netflix and Hulu were the catalyst for many people cutting the cable cords. Customers could get the programming they wanted without paying for a huge bundle of channels they didn't want. Now this appears to be going to the opposite extreme. Rather than having my favorite programming aggregated among one or two content distributors at a rate significantly less than the cable bundle, now I'm going to have to weed through dozens, if not eventually hundreds, of subscription services with each one believing they are "cheaper than cable" but in the aggregate will drive my potential bill even higher.

To put it another way, my satellite bill that has about 200 channels is about $100, or 50 cents per channel. However, I only watch about 20 channels so I may pay an average of $2 per channel to get what I want through an internet provider. I'm paying four times as much per channel but I'm still saving 60% off my bill. However, if I want the Apple programming I'll likely have to subscribe to Apple Music or even Apple TV for $15 - $20 per month for that one channel's worth of programming. Multiply that by five providers and I'm up to what my satellite bill was for less content.

These distributors getting into exclusive content creation is simply not a good deal for consumers.


The collective (consumer) mentality about the future of television seems to revolve around this idea of more-to-much-more programming for substantially less cost. We're so locked into the idea that it must cost a lot less, yet those who control and serve up the content have NO interest in cutting their own (revenue) throats to deliver that.

Even your math is "wrong" from their point of view. 200 channels for $100 is 50 cents per channel. But how the rest of the chain sees it is $100 per month. Ultimately, they might allow their content to be packaged such that you could buy your 20 channels separately but they still want their $100/month (if not more for going to the trouble of implementing "new model" offerings). So from their perspective, your 200 channels are worth $100 or your 20 channels are worth $100 ($5 per channel in your math). If you further refined your channel wants to 10 channels, they are worth $100/month ($10 per channel). 5 channels ($20 per channel).

Nobody (beyond us consumers) wants the television industry's revenues cut by 30%, 40%, 70% or 90% as so many of us often seem to covet... or even believe is possible. Technology solutions- or even Apple piling in on top- doesn't change that.

As we are already seeing with streaming offerings, pricing that was once imagined to be Netflix-like at $10 or maybe as high at $20-$30/month is generally starting above what was previously slung around as a good "most I will pay" number. And when you add on the channels or programming many actually want, it's as you say: one quickly finds themselves creeping up into regular cable/SATT pricing anyway... but getting access to LESS programming, inferior DVR functionality, etc to boot... AND having to hop app-to-app and box-to-box to get to everything they want to watch.

I suspect that it shouldn't be more than maybe another 2 or 3 years until there is massive whining about the state of "new model" television in which the collective is longing for the "good old days" when there was tons of programming all unified in a single on-screen guide for a relatively cheap price. By then, we'll be paying as much as we did for cable/SATT and cable will have upped the broadband billing to make up for losses to their cableTV revenues. Net result: we'll be paying MORE for less... and the most aggravating part is the various sellers will be able to spin that they gave us what we asked for (except for massive discounts on content).
Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago
I didn't think anyone actually HIRED TV executives. I thought they just sprouted out of a giant pile of high-level-management feces at major networks. Learn something new everyday.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago
OK here's a perfect opportunity for Tim to move Eddy to LA and hire a new VP to run Apple's cloud business (including Siri and Maps). If Apple is serious about this it needs to come out from under Apple Music and can't be a part time gig for Cue.
Rating: 3 Votes
9 months ago
I don't know if this should make me sad that Apple is venturing further into an area that isn't their core competency or excited because it will need exciting hardware to support this venture -- like iTunes supported iPod -- but the content will have to be amazing to sell that hardware. (So far Apple's original content is as unintelligent and unwatchable as most network fare.)
Rating: 3 Votes

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