In a move that may indicate the company is getting serious about creating original TV content, Apple on Friday announced via an official press release that it’s hired two of Sony Television’s top executives, who will soon take up their new roles as the co-heads of worldwide video programming at Apple.
Jamie Ehrlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who for the last 12 years served as co-presidents at Sony Pictures, will be joining the team up in Cupertino later on this summer — and under their new roles, will report directly to Apple’s longtime SVP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, who in a statement lauded the executives’ instrumental roles in the ‘golden age of television.’
“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,” Cue said. In their roles at Sony, Ehrlicht and Van Amburg most notably oversaw the creation of multiple blockbuster Television shows, including the Breaking Bad series, Better Call Saul, and The Crown.
While Apple has been experimenting in the area of creating original content for Apple Music, including original series like the Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, the move to hire Ehrlicht and Van Amburg makes it clear that the company’s ambitions in the TV space are much broader — and could even hold implications for the future of Apple TV.
While Apple devoted very little time to the Apple TV or tvOS at this year’s WWDC event (aside from a brief mention that an Amazon Prime video app would be coming to its set-top box later this summer), Tim Cook did tease the audience that “we’ll talk a lot more about tvOS later this year,” which may or may not be a sign of the company’s renewed interest in creating more original content. It’s also been rumored that a 4K Apple TV is currently in development, which could be shown off at Apple’s fall event alongside new tvOS updates, the iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, and high-end iPhone 8 handsets.
Meanwhile, as Cupertino’s $9.99/month Apple Music service surpasses 27 million active users, rumors have been swirling that the company could launch a similar, subscription-based service dedicated exclusively to TV content — however those rumors fell flat earlier year, as Apple failed to ink deals with major networks and Hollywood heavyweights. Alternatively, the company was also rumored to be teaming up with HBO, Showtime, and Starz in hopes of bringing a ‘premium TV bundle’ to Apple TV users.
Of course, with the hiring of Ehrlicht and Van Amburg, there’s now plenty of reason to believe the tides will start turning in Apple’s favor — and that a bevy of new and original TV content may be on the way.