Jimmy Iovine reiterates Apple’s interest in original TV content

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Iovine
Iovine says Apple Music isn't just about music.
Photo: Apple

Jimmy Iovine is hinting that Apple may indeed be looking to follow Amazon and Netflix down the original TV programming route, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the company is “going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose.”

“At Apple Music, what we’re trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video,” Iovine said.

“If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say, ‘You’re not musicians,’ you know?” he continued. “We’re going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose. We’re going to try.”

Apple has been rumored to be exploring original TV content for some time now, although — as Iovine’s comments confirm — Apple no longer appears to be thinking along the lines of a standalone TV package so much as an “added extra” for Apple Music.

The company has already embraced scripted drama on a small level with a rumored show called Vital Signs, which will be executive produced by Dr. Dre. As the Hollywood Reporter notes:

“The half-hour series, which is described as a dark drama, is said to consist of six episodes. Veteran music video director Paul Hunter is attached as a director on Vital Signs, which also is being produced under his Eye Candy banner along with Aaron Ginsburg and William Green. Empire co-executive producer-writer Robert Munic wrote all six episodes and also will exec produce. The first season will likely roll out all at once, taking a page from Netflix and Amazon’s release strategy.”

Beyond this, Apple is planning a TV series of Carpool Karaoke, which will feature different pairs of musicians and celebrities for a 16-episode run, as well as another show called Planet of the Apps, which may take the form of a kind of Shark Tank for app developers.

Then there are documentaries such as The Cash Money Story, about popular hip-hop label Cash Money Records, and another about the cultural impact of the Roland TR-808 drum machine.

Personally, I’d love to see Apple enter the original programming game. Having helped lay the groundwork for the current intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley (Sillywood?) over the past 25 years, it seems that companies like Netflix have, in some sense, encroached on areas that might previously have belonged to Apple.

Producing original content is the next logical step up from digital distribution, so Apple would be well-placed to enter this market and succeed. It’s not clear from Iovine’s comments how seriously Apple is taking this, however.

It’s one thing being open to the next South Park if it “walks into” Apple’s offices; another entirely to seek it out.

Do you think Apple has what it takes to succeed in the original programming game? Leave your comments below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter