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Apple may be planning move into original video content

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special event on September 2014 in Cupertino, California. 

(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Is Apple Inc. about to go Hollywood?

The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant has held early talks with executives in Tinseltown that could lead to a push into original video content to take on the likes Netflix and Amazon, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The potential move, first reported by Variety, does not come as a surprise amid the fast rise of on-demand television and movies. Original content has become an attractive business for tech companies looking to make their hardware and software more appealing to consumers. The talks also come as Apple has been looking to launch a streaming TV service for users of its devices.

An Apple representative declined to comment Monday.

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It’s unclear what kind of programming Apple might be looking for. Apple probably will announce a new generation of its Apple TV device this month. Several competing TV streaming products are already available, at lower prices, made by Google, Amazon, Roku and others. Original, exclusive, high-quality video programming — if Apple could pull it off — might help Apple TV command a higher price.

Netflix originals including “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” have helped the Los Gatos, Calif., firm win 65 million subscribers around the world. Originals from Amazon Prime include the critically acclaimed “Transparent.”

Apple pushed into the subscription music streaming business two months ago with the launch of Apple Music, which competes with Spotify, Rhapsody and Google Play Music. That offering has signed up about 11 million people for its three-month free trial period.

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ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

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