Like Indiana Jones, Apple is finally going after the Holy Grail. A report from The Wall Street Journal notes that Apple is talking with Hollywood producers about bringing original TV shows and movies to its Apple Music service, which would place it in direct competition with Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and others.

Apple has dipped its toes in the original content waters before, getting exclusive licenses for Apple Music with artists like Taylor Swift and Frank Ocean, as well as producing TV shows about Dr. Dre (Apple owns Beats, which was started by the venerable rapper) as well as Planet of the Apps, but this is different. According to report, Apple wants to go head-to-head with shows like Westworld, Stranger Things and other critically acclaimed content.

Saying it wants to compete with these sorts of shows and actually doing so are two very different things. There are plenty of programs with premises that should have worked but didn't, for various reasons, such as HBO's Vinyl, Netflix's Marco Polo, and The Get Down, to name a few. Content is a tricky business and it can be very subjective, no matter how much data a company possesses. Nearly every single channel passed on Stranger Things before Netflix took a chance on it. There's the very real chance Apple will buy a TV show or movie it thinks is going to be a hit with its subscribers and for whatever reason, it doesn't work out.

Still, Apple going deeper into original content is the right move, for a number of reasons.

Apple needs another growth engine to shift focus away from the slowdown in iPhone sales and currently, the only part of the company that is experiencing growth is the services business, led by Apple Music, which now has more than 20 million paying subscribers. By adding TV shows and movies, it would help broaden the appeal of the service, especially if it gets a hit show or movie that isn't available elsewhere.

It would also give Apple more clout with Hollywood studios, should it ever decide to revisit the idea of a skinny bundle for television networks, much like Sling TV, DirecTV Now or the upcoming service from Hulu.

Many have talked about Apple buying Netflix, which in theory, is a good idea, because of the huge lead in subscribers it has over Apple. However, once you dig down into the idea, it would cost Apple considerable amounts of money to both buy the company and its off-balance sheet liabilities, rights to shows it doesn't own and other obligations that would make for a messy and very expensive deal.

By going alone and skipping billions in upfront spend to acquire Netflix, Apple is pursuing the hard job of building a media company. If it manages (and it's a big if) to produce hit TV shows or get its hands on hit movies, or eventually produce its own movies, Apple will have seized the holy grail of the content business and provide it with another major growth driver.

There's just one big problem: nearly every other big consumer tech company on earth is trying the same trick.

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