Apple cements original TV ambitions with hire of Channel 4’s Jay Hunt as creative lead

Apple has hired Jay Hunt to steer its move into original content creation in Europe

Apple has shown its hand in the TV market with the hire of one of the UK's top TV executives, Channel 4's former creative chief Jay Hunt, to lead a new programme commissioning team in London.

Hunt is due to take up the role of creative director for video in Europe in January, after leaving the public broadcaster at the end of September. It has been reported that in this role Hunt has been given license to buy both drama and unscripted programming.

Her appointment at Apple is part of the technology giant's $1bn a year push into original video production, as it looks to sit at the table with Netflix and Amazon (which have content budgets of $6bn and $4.5bn respectively), and compete with traditional broadcasters.

Hunt had been leading Channel 4's creative strategy and programme commissioning for almost seven years when she announced her resignation after pulling out of the race to succeed chief executive David Abraham.

Following her departure, rumours circulated that Hunt was set to lead the creative TV output of a tech company, first mooted to be Netflix or Amazon Prime.

The creative boss notably negotiated Channel 4's poaching of The Great British Bake Off from the BBC and is credited with sparking its creative renaissance since her arrival in 2011. She brings with her a wealth of experience in content commissioning, having held senior commissioning roles at Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC, where she was controller of BBC One.

Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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