Apple just explained why it’s going to make original TV shows

  • Apple is seeing cord cutting increasing at a faster rate, and it's seeing business potential in creating content.
  • CEO Tim Cook hinted the trend is fueling Apple's desire to produce more original content.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has explained why the company is making a big push into original TV programming.

"The cord cutting in our view is only going to accelerate and probably accelerate at a much faster rate than is widely thought," Cook said in a call with analysts on Tuesday.

The iPhone maker noticed its Apple TV units and revenue grew by "very strong double digits" during this past quarter, Cook said. It also saw more third-party providers use Apple TV as their go-to-market device for their services, at a year-over-year rate of around 100 percent, according to Cook. For example, AT&T's DirecTV Now streaming service offers customers an Apple TV to stream content.

The comments were made during Apple's third-quarter earnings report. The company reported earnings per share of $2.34 and $53.3 billion in revenue.

Last August, Apple said it wanted to spend about $1 billion acquiring 10 TV shows. Since then, it signed deals with Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, and Sesame Workshop, among others. It also hired Jay Hunt in October, a broadcasting executive best know for bringing "The Great British Bake Off" and "Black Mirror" to British network Channel 4.

"We hired two highly-respected television executives last year and they have been here now for several months and have been working on a project that we're not really ready to share all the details of it yet, but I couldn't be more excited about what's going on there," Cook said, apparently hinting at a rumored subscription content bundle. "And we've got great talent in the area that we've sourced from different places and feel really good about what we will eventually offer."

However, Apple's budget is small compared with competitors like Netflix. The streaming giant is expecting to spend up to $8 billion this year on content. Amazon is spending around $4.5 billion, according to estimates.