Apple is coming to get you, Netflix. Well, not yet. But the iPhone-maker is getting very serious about original content. Apple plans to spend $1 billion over the next year to acquire and develop 10 original shows, according to a WSJ reports. These are in addition to existing shows, Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, which Apple released this year to a not-so-rousing reception.
The Cupertino-based tech giant aspires to create a Games of Thrones-like splash in the video-streaming market. While $1 billion is one-sixth of HBO’s (GoT creator) annual spends, for Apple that’s a lot of money to spend on Services — which isn’t the core of its business. It is similar to the money Amazon spent in the first year of Prime Video. Apple’s shows would be streamed on Apple Music which has about 27 million subscribers; however, it could very well develop a video-focused streaming service and separate both operations. ALSO READ: Facebook is getting serious about original programming; will take on Netflix
Apple’s push for original programming began with high-profile hires earlier in the year. It scooped up top television executives — Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg — from Sony Pictures Television. They come with rich experience of viral shows such as Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Apple now has a dedicated team working in its entertainment division, developing the original slate of shows and exploring a separate video-streaming service. If the 10 shows meet with success, Apple’s spends could double going ahead. ALSO READ: Apple’s first TV show ‘Planet of the Apps’ is targeted at aspiring tech entrepreneurs
Until now, Apple’s video efforts haven’t been anything to write home about. Carpool Karaoke was dismissed as “just another unscripted series about famous people” by Variety. Planet of the Apps drew comparisons with the uber-popular Shark Tank, but the buzz eventually tapered off. The Guardian wrote: “Their [Apple’s] initial two series have been a curious hybrid of low-key ideas propped up by big-name celebrities with little else of substance to recommend them.” Surely, Apple knows what it lacks and it is out to set that right.