- Ursula Coyote/AMC
Apple is apparently very serious about making TV shows.
The technology giant has hired two high-profile former Sony Pictures Television executives to head “all aspects of video programming,” Apple said on Friday.
The two executives, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, will report to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services.
Both execs are well-regarded in Hollywood: Since 2005, when the pair joined Sony, they’ve been deeply involved in several hit TV shows, including AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” NBC’s “The Blacklist,” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” according to Variety.
Apple’s been signaling a big push into video for years, although it’s never launched a rumored online streaming service. It has funded and aired a few video programs under its Apple Music subscription service, including “Planet of the Apps,” a show about making apps that aired its second episode on Tuesday. Other TV-like shows, including its first scripted drama called “Vital Signs,” are expected to launch on Apple Music later this year. Apple Music also buys documentaries.
Apple hopes that a strong video component can help Apple Music distinguish itself from rivals including Spotify. That’s been the case for a while, but now the Silicon Valley giant has two Hollywood pros leading its efforts.
Apple Music has 27 million subscribers, and CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year that he hopes its online services division will do $50 billion in sales per year by 2020.