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Apple to learn lessons from first originals

Television remains “an area of great interest” for Apple, which aims to learn lessons from its first Apple Music originals, according to CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook

Apple CEO, Tim Cook

Speaking on the company’s fiscal third quarter earnings call, Cook referred to Apple’s first original content moves when he was asked to give an update on the company’s broad TV ambitions.

“The objective of this [Apple Music originals] is really twofold: one is for our own learning, given that we’re new in the video space in terms of creation; and two is to give the Apple Music subscriber some exclusive content and hopefully grow our subscriber base,” said Cook.

“We’ve recently hired two great folks with lots of experience in creating content like Breaking Bad and The Crown and some really top-notch content, so we’ll see how this area goes, but it is still an area of great interest.”

Apple debuted its first original show for Apple Music, Planet of the Apps, in June, and this week released a teaser trailer for its version of Carpool Karaoke, which is due to launch on August 8.

However, the company is widely expected to make bigger strides into the TV space after it hired former Sony Pictures Television presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg in June to oversee its original programming efforts.

At Sony the pair oversaw production on high-end scripted series like Breaking BadBetter Call SaulThe Crown, Rescue MeThe ShieldDamages and The Goldbergs.

Cook did not give any specific update on its Apple TV streaming device on the Q3 earnings call, but the ‘other products segment’ that includes Apple TV, Apple Watch and Beats Products experienced a 23% year-on-year increase in revenue at US$2.7 billion for the quarter.

Overall, Apple reported quarterly revenue of US$45.4 billion, up 7% year-on-year, with international sales accounting for 61% of the total revenue. Net income was US$8.7 billion, up from US$7.8 billion a year earlier.

“With revenue up 7% year-over-year, we’re happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue,” said Cook.

“We hosted an incredibly successful Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and we’re very excited about the advances in iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS coming this fall.”

Apple’s service revenues came to US$7.3 billion in the quarter, generated from digital content purchases and subscriptions to services like Apple Music and AppleCare.

The iPhone continued to generate most revenue for the company, followed by iPad and then Mac sales.