Apple To Spend $1 Billion on Original TV Shows and Movies

The tech giant behind the iPhone is no stranger to entertainment.

In 2001, Apple launched iTunes - a first of its kind online music marketplace. iTunes now includes TV, movies, and a diverse assortment of other content offerings. In 2015, Apple expanded its entertainment offering through Apple Music, the company's answer to the rise of subscription-based music streaming services like Spotify.

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Since its launch over two years ago, Apple Music has added original content that goes beyond music and music videos. Two shows developed and produced by Apple - Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke - have each been released to a lukewarm response on the platform this summer. Though currently lukewarm, Apple seems to be just testing the waters.

Could their next target be Netflix?

It was reported by the Wall Street Journal today that the creators of the Mac are planning to vastly increase their stake in Hollywood. Apple Inc. has set a budget of around $1 billion to assemble and publish original content over the course of 2018. 

CEO Tim Cook's team is serious about producing high quality content, which is seen in their recent hiring of Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht to top posts in their content efforts. If you're not familiar with the names, you're likely familiar with their work. The duo is behind shows like Breaking Bad and The Blacklist (a personal favorite). 

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With this kind of talent at the top, I have high hopes that Apple will come through with some really great content.

How Apple's yearly content budget matches up:

$1,000,000,000 is certainly a lot of money by any metric, but there are several companies that spend significantly more on their content.

Yearly Content Budget (In Billions)

  1. Netflix - $7 Billion
  2. Amazon Prime - $4.5 Billion
  3. HBO - $2 Billion (As John Oliver would say, that's some sweet sweet dragon money)
  4. Apple - $1 Billion

The most interesting company to compare Apple to here is actually Amazon. HBO and Netflix are both companies that rely almost entirely on the content they procure or produce, while Apple and Amazon are companies that are not dependent on revenue from their programming.

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We can be sure that with Amazon making massive strides and engaging with what seems like every market under the sun, Apple could be getting worried that their market share could be next. It seems like these mega-companies, in order to stay mega, will need to grow horizontally into as many markets as possible.

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