Apple creates its own TV studio, will produce WWII drama ‘Masters of Air’

While Apple has a long list of new programming lined up for its TV+ subscription streaming service, the company won’t actually own any of the announced shows — until now.

That’s changing because Apple has formed its own in-house studio, which will produce “Masters of Air,” a follow-up to “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” based on Donald L. Miller’s nonfiction book “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany.” The show will be executive produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Steven Spielberg.

The distinction between TV+ shows that are and aren’t produced by Apple’s studio will probably be lost on most viewers. That’s fair enough — especially because in the streaming world, the “original” label encompasses a number of different types of content.

For example, Netflix Originals include shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” which are produced by other studios, with Netflix paying for the exclusive rights (in some cases, those rights are limited to certain geographies).

And then there are shows like “Stranger Things,” which Netflix produces and owns itself. Those self-produced shows will probably be a growing part of Netflix’s original content mix moving forward.

Similarly, by creating its own studio, Apple can own some of its TV+ content outright, lessening the need to negotiate licensing fees with other studios, and also giving it the rights for things like merchandise.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio doesn’t have a name yet, but it will be led by Apple’s Worldwide Video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, who previously led Sony Pictures TV.