In February it was announced that Apple’s Dr. Dre, a rapper turned entrepreneur, would produce and star in an upcoming show dubbed Vital Signs that will be available to subscribers of Apple Music. According to Fast Company, that show is just the tip of the iceberg.
Quoting unnamed five different sources, the article says Apple appears to be taking a "two-lane approach" to original programming. The first, which Vital Signs falls under, is a slate of short films, music videos, and documentaries that will be built around musicians and friends of Dr. Dre and his Beats partner, Jimmy Iovine, a former record executive. The idea is to use this content (such as the two-hour Taylor Swift concert movie that Apple released last December and the Vice documentary The Score in late March) to promote Apple Music, the subscription streaming service that launched last year.
The second “lane,” according to Fast Company, is an effort to offer its own original content as Netflix and Amazon are doing. This effort is purportedly being led by Robert Kondrk, Apple’s vice president of iTunes content (pictured with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services).
Such content could be tied into an upcoming Apple video streaming service, which I’ve dubbed Apple Web TV. The Wall Street Times has previously reported that Apple has talked with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks that will be available on Apple gadgets such as the Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone. The company purportedly wants the service to offer about 25 channels for $30 and $40 per month. Apple’s Web TV offering will reportedly be anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, but won’t include smaller channels typically included in a standard cable TV package.
The rumor mill says the original plan was for Apple Web TV to launch aside the fourth gen Apple TV in 2015. That didn’t happen, apparently because the company couldn’t hammer out deals with various TV networks and companies.