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With the hiring of two top television execs from Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNEC), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPLB) is demonstrating just how serious it is about original programming.

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, formerly of Sony Pictures Television productions, oversaw productions such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown.”

Both men will join Apple as co-heads of video programming worldwide, according to Apple. They will report to Eddy Cue, who runs Apple’s $24 billion services business, including iTunes and Apple’s streaming-music service.


Streaming Is Growing

Apple recognizes that the growth of streaming points to an entertainment future with significant profit potential. Specifically, the original content space has skyrocketed via companies like Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLXC), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZNC), CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBSB) and others. All together about 500 original scripted shows were created for the 2016-17 television season. That almost twice the number produced in 20111.

With more and more viewers dropping cable for streaming, the demand for original contest is growing even faster. Apple has taken tentative steps in the arena with shows like “Carpool Karaoke.” Apple would like to see the services business, which includes streaming, double to about $50 billion by 2020.

New Hires Are Cream Of The Crop

It’s hard to overstate the significance of Apple’s hiring of Erlicht and Van Amburg. “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,” according to Apple’s Cue who added, “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.”

As for Erlicht and Van Amburg, the excitement has a certain contagiousness to it. Said Erlicht, “It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team. We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products — unparalleled quality.”

Van Amburg noted, “Apple has a relentless focus on delighting customers with their products. We will bring that same intention to Apple’s programming and we could not be more excited about what lies ahead.”


Wait, There’s More

Meanwhile, Apple is not letting the rest of the company sit idly by while waiting for its new duo to wow the world. Simultaneous with Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOGC) unveiling of its new Home speaker to compete with Amazon’s Echo, Apple confirmed it is joining the party with a new gadget call the HomePod.

All this ahead of Apple’s expected September release of its new and highly anticipated iPhone 8. The new phone is expected to include numerous updates including a screen that covers the entire front of the device and a fingerprint scanner on the side of the device.

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