Seven years ago, Walter Isaacson wrote that Apple founder Steve Jobs told him he'd "cracked" the code on bringing television into the digital age.
Seven years later, the world is still waiting. But Apple's not giving up, even if it isn't revolutionizing the industry.
Apple is preparing a new digital video service that will marry original content and subscription services from legacy media companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Owners of Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will find the still-in-the-works service in the pre-installed "TV" application, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details of the project are private.
The product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to Apple device owners, and subscription "channels," which will allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO and Starz.
Apple plans to debut the revamped app early next year, the people said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
As Bloomberg reported in May, the subscription channels will essentially copy Amazon's Prime Video Channel subscriptions. Customers will be able to access all of their content from within the TV app so they won't need to download individual apps from multiple media providers.
Apple is spending about $1 billion on original content this year, targeting "PG-rated" shows that appeal to wide audiences and won't get the company in trouble by making them available for free to owners of all devices, said the people. Apple is also looking for "tent pole" franchises that could serve as linchpins to a paid Netflix-like subscription service down the road, two of the people said. Think "Game of Thrones," but without the sex and violence. The Wall Street Journal reported last month Apple has about 24 original shows in production and development.