Apple Budgets $1 Billion for Original Content Over the Next Year

Marlene Weaver
August 18, 2017

With an investment of this size, Apple would trail behind Netflix, and Amazon, which now have $7 billion and $4.5 billion respectively, set aside for original content for 2017. On Wednesday, those stocks barely budged. This isn't the first time the tech giant has signaled an interest in joining the crowded field of original content producers. Up until now, initial efforts "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke" have failed to bring much attention and the company are still yet to reveal ratings for the show. But even that budget is no match for potential rivals like Netflix., which has committed $6 billion for original content this year. Erlicht and Van Amburg are expected to oversee the acquisition of content, while also coming up with Apple's new video strategy. But as we saw with Netflix and Amazon, all it will take for Apple to become a player in this space is one or two big hits.

This money will be used to help procure and produce as many as 10 television shows.

Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, which Apple poached from Sony earlier this year, will be in charge of allocating the funds.

And this week the company announced the hiring of Matt Cherniss, ex-G.M. of WGN America and Tribune Studios, to head development for the original entertainment group. Comedies, on the hand, are comparatively cheaper, costing around $2 million per episode, while a drama can cost about $5 million per episode, notes The Verge.

Original programming is the way to go, as it has proven to be a big driver in the growth of streaming services. Apple hasn't released any data on how the shows are performing in terms of viewership, but reviews aren't looking too good. In addition to this, the reach of these shows was not extensive as only those had the accessibility who had Apple Music subscriptions. 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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