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Former HBO CEO to join Apple as the company looks to compete with Netflix and Disney+

Published Nov 12th, 2019 7:06PM EST
Apple TV Plus
Image: Shutterstock

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It’s crazy how fast the media landscape has changed in just a few short years. Not too long ago, Netflix was the bonafide king of streaming without a challenger in sight. These days, Netflix is seemingly under siege from all angles as the streaming giant faces competition from a growing array of media giants. Aside from traditional competitors like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix now has to contend with a new streaming service from Disney that offers up an impressive library of content at a remarkably cheap price point.

Meanwhile, Apple is also in the mix with Apple TV+. And though it’s no secret that Apple currently doesn’t pose much of a formidable threat given its paltry selection of media content, Apple undeniably has more money to spend than anyone else as it looks to shore up its media library with high-quality content.

With that said, a new report from The Hollywood Reporter relays that former HBO CEO Richard Plepler — who helped deliver a number of iconic HBO programs — may be joining Apple as part of a new development deal to bring exclusive and top-notch content to Apple.

Nothing is official just yet, but the report claims that a deal might be done and ready to go before the end of the year.

Plepler, one of the most respected and highly regarded executives in the industry, departed HBO earlier this year in a move that stunned the TV community.

Sources say Apple TV+ heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amberg and Jamie Erlicht are leading the charge to secure a production deal with Plepler, who has a long roster of ties to the industry’s most sought-after creators and stars alike. Plepler would be the latest high-profile production deal the duo made at Apple and join a roster that also includes the likes of Oprah Winfrey, A24, Sesame Workshop and the parent company of Peanuts.

There’s no denying that Apple’s current selection of content is laughable compared to almost every other streaming service on the market, but the company is apparently intent on embracing a ‘quality over quantity’ approach. What’s more, and as we’ve seen play out numerous times in the past, Apple is a patient company and will likely have no issue with taking the roll-out of Apple TV+ at a measured pace.

Thus far, the introduction of Apple TV+ has been met with lukewarm reviews. While shows like Morning Show and See aren’t quite as bad as some early reviews made them out to be, neither appear to be instant classics either.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.