Apple hires TV exec to take on Netflix and Amazon video

As Apple seemingly move more and more towards working with video they’ve just hired a British TV executive involved in Bake Off and Sherlock.

Apple have hired TV executive Jay Hunt, poaching her from Channel 4 where she was responsible for the £75 million acquisition of the new TV fad The Great British Bake Off. Joining Apple as the Creative Chief of video operations in Europe, Jay Hunt’s hire strongly suggests that Apple have something larger planned for video than just some series on Apple Music.

Jay Hunt has an impressive history throughout British TV having spent time in notable roles at Channel 4, the BBC and Channel 5 – missing only ITV for a staple British channels bingo. Hunt quit channel 4 earlier this year just days before they announced the new Chief Executive which Hunt was considered the favourite of six candidates for, raising questions over her exit – leaving officially in September.

Hunt will report to Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the worldwide heads of video at Apple who have both themselves joined from prestigious positions at Sony Pictures Television. Erlicht and Van Amburg have some serious credentials in their past being involved in the production of hit shows like Breaking Bad and The Blacklist.

Hunt will start work at Apple in January when we may have a better idea at what their plan is for video. We already know that they have been creating original shows for Apple Music, their music streaming service, to give more value to the service. However their bold TV and video hires recently suggest a much larger ambition.

Apple recently started their new series of Carpool Karaoke which they bought from The Late Late Show with James Corden, they now both have series of the popular format. Other shows from Apple include Planet of the Apps, a show which sees apps and developers face a panel of celebs including Will.I.Am, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jessica Alba. Planet of the Apps was received with unwelcoming hands and hasn’t set the greatest precedent for original content from Apple.

Having entered the music streaming world over 2 years ago now it seems like Apple are dipping their toes in video before moving onto something larger. Many inside the industry expect that Apple are working towards a Netflix-type video streaming service. Whatever the case, it seems like something is larger at play here – and we can’t wait to find out what!

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