Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO
Justin Solomon | CNBC
Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler will produce movies, TV shows, and documentaries for Apple’s streaming video service, Apple TV+.
His new New York-based company, Eden Productions, has signed an exclusive five-year deal with Apple, representatives for Plepler and Apple confirmed.
The partnership between Plepler and Apple comes less than a year after Plepler left HBO after working there for 27 years. Plepler left HBO as AT&T completed a purchase of Time Warner, its parent company.
Now Plepler, who turned HBO into a destination for “prestige” content like “Game of Thrones,” will be creating shows for a streaming service that directly competes with his old employer.
Shows produced by Plepler will be available to stream on Apple TV+, which launched last fall. It costs $4.99 per month, but a free year’s subscription is bundled with new Apple gadgets. Apple is reportedly spending billions on content for the service. WarnerMedia plans to launch a new streaming service under the HBO brand this year.
Both Apple and AT&T are joining an increasingly competitive market. In addition to legacy options like Netflix and Hulu, Disney successfully launched a service last fall, and NBCUniversal is planning its own service later this year.
In an interview with the New York Times, Plepler said that Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue was a big part of why he decided to make shows for Apple TV+.
Plepler also praised the heads of Apple TV+ video programming, former Sony television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg.
“I’m excited to work with Zack, Jamie and the standout team at Apple who have been deeply supportive of my vision for Eden from day one. The shows that Zack and Jamie produced, ‘The Crown’ and ‘Breaking Bad,’ are among those I most admired,” Plepler said in a statement. “Apple is one of the most creative companies in the world, and the perfect home for my new production company and next chapter.”
Apple hasn’t disclosed the number of subscribers or views on its service, which is built around original series like “The Morning Show,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and “See,” starring Jason Momoa.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.