Report: Apple starts work on first original

Apple store NYApple has reportedly started work on its first original TV series, with plans to launch the show through its subscription streaming site, Apple Music.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the six-episode drama series, called Vital Signs, will star rapper, Beats co-founder and Apple executive Dr Dre, and will be “semi-autobiographical”.

The dark series is now in production, with Apple paying for the production and Dr Dre also executive producing, according to the report.

The New York Times separately reported that the show will be an Apple Music project offered through Apple TV.

The news comes just weeks after rival music streaming service Spotify begun rolling out video content in partnership with major media brands like the BBC and Vice Media, introducing this first via its Android app.

Netlfix and Amazon meanwhile continue to make strides in the original content space, with Netflix alone planning to launch over 600 hours of original programming this year – new seasons of 30 or so original series, eight original feature films, 35 new seasons of original series for kids, 12 documentaries, and nine stand up comedy specials.

Separately, CBS CEO Les Moonves hinted in an interview with CNN Money last week that Apple had not made any recent progress on its reported efforts to launch an a cloud TV service.   

Asked whether Apple will jump into the TV business and launch a streaming bundle of channels this year, Moonves said “you’ll have to ask Apple, I don’t know that.”

Pressed about the talks that had been held between CBS and Apple previously he said: “We had conversations a while back, and we haven’t had recent conversations with them.”

Asked if the likes of Amazon and Facebook were also looking to move into this space, Moonves said: “All of those companies are looking at the content companies, which is what we do. So we’re in constant conversations with all of them about partnerships, about licensing our content, and they’re going to be very important to our future and those alliances become more and more important.”

“Our business is changing rapidly. If you look at where we were five years ago, we didn’t even know half of these companies… Something like 40% of the revenue that we’re getting didn’t exist five years ago.”

Last May, Moonves said at a conference that CBS would “probably” do a deal with Apple for its much-rumoured streaming service, following reports earlier last year that Apple planned to launch a service in partnership with broadcasters including ABC, CBS and Fox.

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