Apple Could Spend $1 Bln On Content

Laverne Mann
August 18, 2017

To put the budget into perspective, it is around half of what Time Warner's cable network HBO spent on content a year ago with its most significant original programming investments in "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld", and it's similar to what Amazon spent in 2013 when it entered the original programming video marketplace. On Wednesday, those stocks barely budged. Last year, HBO spent $2 billion on original programming, while Netflix is on track to spend about $7 billion in 2018. This isn't the first time the tech giant has signaled an interest in joining the crowded field of original content producers.

Currently, Apple has Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke but neither are exactly killing it. Netflix, meanwhile, is expected to spend more than $6 billion in 2017. Reporting to Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Erlicht and Van Amburg - responsible for runaway hits Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul - are slated to take over programming responsibilities from the Apple Music team.

Prior to focusing on original content, Apple was more into renting TV shows and movies.

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In June, Apple picked up two Sony TV execs to help with the original programming initiative.

Reportedly, Apple thinks $1 billion is enough to bankroll at least 10 brand new and fresh programmes for TV. Former president of WGN America cable network, Matt Cherniss, was also appointed to lead development and reports to Erlicht and Van Amburg.

If Apple sees a significant chunk of its iTunes users gravitate towards sci-fi series, for instance, the company might pour a good chunk of its budget into developing high-quality shows in that genre. Considering Netflix and Amazon have had head starts and bigger budgets, Apple will need so much more to milk its video offering. Bundling the two together for the same price of around $10 per month would instantly give Apple a big leg up on the competition, with a combination music/video streaming service providing an exceptional value to consumers. "We're learning a lot about the original content business and thinking about ways that we could play at that", said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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