Reports indicate that Apple is planning to spend approximately $1 billion in procuring and producing original films and television shows in the coming year. Sources say that Apple is in a position to buy 10 television shows of high caliber and that it has already started using agencies to scout for prospects.
Earlier in June the Cupertino, California-based tech giant recruited two Hollywood veterans, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. The two had served as longtime presidents at entertainment giant, Sony Pictures Television. Known for such shows as Breaking Bad, The Goldbergs and The Blacklist, the two have been charged with the responsibility of developing for Apple a slate of content that will be a hit with audiences. Recently Apple also hired Matt Cherniss, a former general manager of Tribune Studios and WGN America to be the head of developing original content.
But even though a yearly budget of $1 billion seems high, it is still lower than what HBO, Amazon and Netflix spend on content on an annual basis. Next year Netflix has budgeted $7 billion to be used in acquiring and producing original content. This is an increase of $1 billion compared to last year as the leader in subscription streaming video spent $6 billion on original content for its platform.
Amazon, on the other hand, is expected to spend approximately $4.5 billion this year on original video content for its Prime Video service. HBO, which is owned by Time Warner and which is known for such hit shows as Game of Thrones, on average spends about $2 billion every year on original programming.
Already Apple has invested in original video content but it has been meant for its Apple Music. Some of the original shows that Apple has spent money on include Planet of the Apps, an unscripted competition series, which debuted this summer. It also recently unveiled ‘Carpool Karaoke’, a spinoff from a late night show hosted on CBS by James Corden.
The Apple executive in charge of the company’s foray into original programming is Eddy Cue, the internet software and services senior vice president.