Apple Makes a $1 Billion Commitment to Original TV Shows

Todd Singleton
August 18, 2017

On Wednesday, those stocks barely budged.

San Francisco: Apple Inc. plans to spend about $1 billion on original programming in the next 12 months, intensifying efforts to compete with Inc. and Netflix video streaming, according to people familiar with the plan. This isn't the first time the tech giant has signaled an interest in joining the crowded field of original content producers. The current Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps have not received outstanding reviews so far. Apple reported $261.5 billion in cash, cash equivalents and long-term investments as of July 1, 2017.

In June, Apple hired Sony Pictures Television co-presidents Erlicht and van Amburg as co-heads of worldwide video programming.

We could, in fact, see many original content creators being paid vast sums of money to switch to Apple just to build up their original content offerings.

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Reportedly, Apple thinks $1 billion is enough to bankroll at least 10 brand new and fresh programmes for TV.

Recently, former WGN America President Matt Cherniss was also hired by Apple to look after its video unit. Something of that caliber could cost more than $10 million per episode to produce. That means if they want to pursue a Game of Thrones-like original series that's super-ambitious and expensive, or get into business with big-name directors, showrunners or actors, or even pursue theatrical releases, they can afford to.

For Apple, adding original programming to Apple Music is something that can only increase the company's burgeoning services business.

With its natural global presence and a marketable brand name, there's no shortage of possibilities for Apple if it does decide to go big in the movie industry. Whether Apple's video ambitions take off is dependent on whether the company can create content in the same caliber as streaming rivals' originals, that have amassed dedicated fan bases and critical acclaim. Cue, who reports to CEO Tim Cook, is in charge of the iTunes Store and Apple Music, along with other products and services including Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, and iCloud services.

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