Jimmy Iovine seems to be lending credibility to last week’s report that Apple is looking to bring scripted TV series to Apple Music, telling The Hollywood Reporter what the company is “trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video.” Iovine told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour that in a battle for users with free music services like Spotify and Pandora, “a simple utility where, ‘here’s all the songs, here’s all the music, give me $10 and we’re cool,’ is not going to scale.” While Apple has been developing a scripted series about Dr. Dre’s early life and a full-length version of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke bit, the company had previously been insistent that the Apple Music video projects were simply a component of its music offerings.
But last week, The Wall Street Journal cited sources inside Apple who claim the company is looking to “build a significant new business” in the area of scripted TV, talking with veteran producers over the past few months about buying rights to television programs and trying to woo experienced studio and network marketing executives to come on board. While Iovine didn’t provide much in the way of specifics—shrugging off question’s about the report’s claim that Apple would begin offering original scripted content by the end of this year—he clearly signaled the company is much more open to a wide range of TV shows now, saying “If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say you’re not musicians, you know? We’re going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose. We’re going to try.”