Connolly was vice-president of digital distribution and new product development at Disney. He was one of the most senior executives at streaming startup Quibi, running partnerships and advertising, but he vacated the role before the video service launched earlier this year. Connolly also helped to launch Hulu’s live TV service, which involved striking deals with other major networks. Similarly, he oversaw a deal between Spotify and Hulu to bundle their services.
Connolly’s exact role at Apple is as yet unknown, but it seems likely that he will be involved in brokering deals for Apple TV’s Channels feature. The Apple TV app allows users to buy and watch third-party streaming services directly within the app, but support has been limited thus far. Apple began selling subscriptions to combined services last month, with a bundle including CBS All Access and Showtime, for an overall lower price of $9.99. This move and the hiring of Connolly may indicate that Apple is planning to launch more similar bundles and bolster Apple TV Channels.
Given Connolly’s experience in bundling services, it is also possible that he is involved in launching Apple’s upcoming “Apple One” subscription service bundles. The series of bundles would allow customers to subscribe to several Apple digital services, such as Apple Music and Apple TV+, together. This is expected to result in a lower monthly price than when the services are subscribed to individually.
Apple did not respond to The Telegraph‘s request for comment. Connolly’s arrival at Apple is yet another indication that the company is heavily investing in its TV and subscription service enterprises.