Apple hires Sony TV Presidents to lead video content charge

Apple

Apple has hired two Sony TV executives as it accelerates its push into original content.

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg will spearhead all aspects of the iPhone maker’s worldwide video programming strategy in newly created positions.

The two have served as presidents at Sony Pictures Television since 2005, working on popular titles such as Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Crown and Rescue Me.

“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,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services.

“We have exciting plans in store for customers and can’t wait for them to bring their expertise to Apple — there is much more to come.”  

Apple launched the digital media player Apple TV in 2007, which allows viewers to stream digital content from a number of sources including Netflix and the iTunes store to their TV.

Apple launched Apple Music in 2015 as a music streaming service but is beginning to offer exclusive video content through the platform.

Earlier this month, the company premiered an exclusive reality show called Planet of the Apps on the platform.

Carpool Karaoke: The Series, based on a segment of James Corden’s Late Late Show, will launch exclusively on the service in August.

Erlicht said: “We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products — unparalleled quality.”

Original content is increasingly becoming a congested battleground.

Alongside moves by the likes of Amazon and Netflix, telcos have made some big statements in the past 12 months.

In its most recent move in the content space, Altice launched a cooking channel in partnership with Jamie Oliver in April.

Telefónica is backing itself to become the world’s leading provider of Spanish content, having unveiled plans to spend €70 million this year on creating original TV programmes.

In France, Orange said it was looking into the possibility of co-producing content with HBO.

[Read more: Orange CFO laments high cost of content]

It looks set to follow Sky, which has already unveiled a $250 million deal to co-produce two drama series with HBO.

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