Apple beefs up unique video content team with pair of Sony programming directors

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2017
Apple has hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, a pair of former Sony Pictures Television executives previously responsible for programming like "Breaking Bad" and "The Goldbergs."




Apple announced the moves on Friday morning, after Sony issued a statement late Thursday just saying that the executives were leaving. The contracts for the pair expire at Sony in August, with them moving to Apple shortly thereafter.

"It will be an honor to be part of the Apple team," said Erlicht in a statement. "We want to bring to video what Apple has been so successful with in their other services and consumer products -- unparalleled quality."

Other programming attributed to the two men include "The Blacklist," AMC's "Breaking Bad" companion and spin-off "Better Call Saul," and Netflix's "The Crown."

Other less standard deals for the pair include the revival of "Timeless" after its cancellation by NBC, plus migration of "Community" from NBC to Yahoo, "Unforgettable" from CBS to A&E, and "Damages" from FX to DirecTV.

Variety reports that Amburg and Erlicht will be working out of Apple's Los Angeles offices. They will be co-heads of video programming for Apple.

"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," Apple Senior Vice President of Software and Services Eddy Cue said in a statement. "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."

Cue reportedly met with various people in film and TV, among them executives from Sony TV and Paramount in April, but industry mavens were unclear as to specifically what Apple was looking for at the time. In May, Apple's intentions were made clear, as reports circulated about Apple having met HBO programming head Michael Lombardo to discuss original content creation.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    I'm sure they're ready and willing to spend a big pile of money to deliver some solid entertainment for Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,167member
    I'm sure they're ready and willing to spend a big pile of money to deliver some solid entertainment for Apple.
    Do you suspect this will be along the lines of Netflix, a monthly subscription or content made available to the likes of Netlix and Amazon Prime?  If the former, just speaking for myself,  I have hardly enough time to keep up with the few shows I follow on Netflix and Prime so I doubt I'd fork out another $10 a month or whatever for another subscription stream.  If the idea is to become a production house that feeds the other main players I'm all in.  What thinkest thou?
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Apple should've brought them on board a while back. They could've prevented Planet of the Apps.
    edited June 2017 xzupaxmanslprescottireland[Deleted User]
  • Reply 4 of 14
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 213member
    Bring back "Agent Carter"! Guaranteed 2.5 million eyeballs!
  • Reply 5 of 14
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,015member
    MacPro said:
    I'm sure they're ready and willing to spend a big pile of money to deliver some solid entertainment for Apple.
    Do you suspect this will be along the lines of Netflix, a monthly subscription or content made available to the likes of Netlix and Amazon Prime?  If the former, just speaking for myself,  I have hardly enough time to keep up with the few shows I follow on Netflix and Prime so I doubt I'd fork out another $10 a month or whatever for another subscription stream.  If the idea is to become a production house that feeds the other main players I'm all in.  What thinkest thou?
    Subscriptions are the name of the game and all competitors are in a battle to develop the most attractive properties. Apple is making a good decision here I think.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,569member
    I've watched all their stuff. 

    Good move, Apple. 
  • Reply 7 of 14
    couple tricks to reduce the cost of apple music: get iTunes gift cards at a discount (typically 15% off on eBay) then use them to pay for Apple Music. Plus, it's cheaper to pay annually at $100. I paid $85 for a $100 iTunes card which got me a full year of Apple Music. = $7 per month
  • Reply 8 of 14
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,649member
    What I would l me to see is a new version of firefly.  Complete with its message.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,929member
    I'm not sure why Apple thinks producing their own content is a good business model to be in. And the stock was actually down 1.4% on Friday so announcing these new hires (which Apple typically doesn't do other than changes at the SVP level) didn't seem to impress Wall Street.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    I'm afraid this is it. If I hadn't sold my stock on Monday I would have sold when I read this news. Apple was a great company with a laser focus under Steve. It's mission: great customer experiences with consumer electronics.

    With this move along with Apple Music, Apple is losing its focus. No big deal you ask? See Sony for how well getting into content, and lasing your focus worked out.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,722member
    interdyne said:
    I'm afraid this is it. If I hadn't sold my stock on Monday I would have sold when I read this news. Apple was a great company with a laser focus under Steve. It's mission: great customer experiences with consumer electronics.

    With this move along with Apple Music, Apple is losing its focus. No big deal you ask? See Sony for how well getting into content, and lasing your focus worked out.
    Doomed!
    I'm not sure why Apple thinks producing their own content is a good business model to be in. And the stock was actually down 1.4% on Friday so announcing these new hires (which Apple typically doesn't do other than changes at the SVP level) didn't seem to impress Wall Street.
    DOOMED! (And you forgot to blame your boy Cue for tanking the stock a whole 1.4%)
  • Reply 12 of 14
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 783member
    interdyne said:
    I'm afraid this is it. If I hadn't sold my stock on Monday I would have sold when I read this news. Apple was a great company with a laser focus under Steve. It's mission: great customer experiences with consumer electronics.

    With this move along with Apple Music, Apple is losing its focus. No big deal you ask? See Sony for how well getting into content, and lasing your focus worked out.
    I have to disagree here with the comments regarding Apple Music.  Apple lead the way with the iPod than iTunes and the Beats acquisition was a brillant move.  As a lover of Apple and music, the future is streaming.

    You don't know the culture of Apple.  Steve would have been at home with Apple Music.

    And I want to add that Apple Music (like the Apple Watch), is improving rapidly.  It will trounce Spotify once the critics move onto another topic of Apple-Is-Doomed.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    MackyMac said:
    couple tricks to reduce the cost of apple music: get iTunes gift cards at a discount (typically 15% off on eBay) then use them to pay for Apple Music. Plus, it's cheaper to pay annually at $100. I paid $85 for a $100 iTunes card which got me a full year of Apple Music. = $7 per month
    There are similar tricks for Netflix etc. too to save a few quid. In the UK just now Google Play giftcards are 20% off at some supermarkets and you then pay your netflix subscription via google play credit which is done via the android version of the Netflix app.

    Also try subscribing from another country, the exchange rate can have huge affect on monthly prices... I used to subscribe to deezer (£9.99 per month) via Brazil which worked out at roughly £2.97 per month, the exchange rate isn't as good now following Brexit but worth looking around if you're penny pinching. Likewise, buying vouchers in other currencies.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    badmonk said:
    interdyne said:
    I'm afraid this is it. If I hadn't sold my stock on Monday I would have sold when I read this news. Apple was a great company with a laser focus under Steve. It's mission: great customer experiences with consumer electronics.

    With this move along with Apple Music, Apple is losing its focus. No big deal you ask? See Sony for how well getting into content, and lasing your focus worked out.
    I have to disagree here with the comments regarding Apple Music.  Apple lead the way with the iPod than iTunes and the Beats acquisition was a brillant move.  As a lover of Apple and music, the future is streaming.

    You don't know the culture of Apple.  Steve would have been at home with Apple Music.

    And I want to add that Apple Music (like the Apple Watch), is improving rapidly.  It will trounce Spotify once the critics move onto another topic of Apple-Is-Doomed.
    I thought Apple Music was a potentially good fit into Apple's history with music but I also feared it was a gateway drug into the world of content creation. It seems my fears were correct. Apple Music as a service does make sense for Apple but every minute that Apple's top talent spends working on the original content for Apple Music is time not spent focused on what Apple does best. Under Steve, Apple used to brag about saying no and focusing like a laser on a few things. I notice they don't say those things anymore.
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