Bloomberg is reporting that Apple has signed up a former Amazon executive to run its Apple TV business.
Timothy D. Twerdahl was the head of Amazon’s Fire TV unit, but also previously held positions at TV and movie streaming service Netflix, and the Roku platform.
Now, Apple is tasking him with a vice presidency in Apple TV product marketing. The previous employee, interestingly, has moved into negotiating media content deals signaling an interesting shift in Apple’s approach to TV, from its set-top box hardware to a potential software service in the near future.
It’s already been reported Apple might be interesting in offering original content. However, it’s believed Apple may begin by offering this exclusive content to Apple Music subscribers.
The report quotes an unnamed spokesman from Apple, noting he previously worked as general manager and director of Amazon’s Fire TV business since 2013, while at Apple he’ll report to the vice president in charge of iPhone marketing.
However, perhaps more interesting is that the individual previously in charge of the position has moved into deal negotiation for the Apple TV, and will report to Eddy Cue, vice president of software and services, who reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Amazon’s Fire device isn’t dissimilar to the Apple TV. It can stream content through televisions, and both include voice functionality. Amazon’s Prime video service is integral to the device, while Apple’s iTunes store is central to the TV unit.
The news of Twerdahl’s move highlights the two companies increasing rivalry in the same spaces. Amazon recently launched its own large-scale music streaming service, while it continues to refuse to sell the most recent Apple TV, and has also declined to develop an Amazon Prime video app for tvOS. However, it did recently launch a shopping app for the device.