Apple is reportedly set to invest $1 billion dollars into producing their own content over the next year. The initial investment is on par with what Amazon started with in 2013 while Netflix is looking to spend $6 billion in the next year. Comparatively, HBO spent around $2 billion dollars on original content last year alone with rumors suggesting that it cost around $10 million dollars too produce a single episode of Game of Thrones for Season 6. The market for streaming original content is a bit crowded at the moment, but if Apple can drum up a hit, it could go a long way in solidifying the company as a streaming contender.
The news comes to us via The Wall Street Journal, who report that Apple is about to make their move to start to produce more original content. They already have Planet of the Apps and the The Late Late Show with James Corden spin-off Carpool Karaoke, but those shows have not been as well received as the tech giant would like. Apple has been talking about jumping into the streaming game for quite some time, but now seems like the right times, especially since they just acquired Sony Television executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg.
While Apple's initial investment seems to be on par with the rest of the streaming bigwigs, it's just a drop in the bucket for the company to get their toes wet with streaming. Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg could not have been cheap acquisitions, as the duo oversaw productions of Breaking Bad and The Crown, so it's pretty obvious that Apple are looking for the duo to work some magic. According to the Wall Street Journal, making TV shows is an expensive venture with comedies costing around $2 million dollars per episode while a drama can fetch up to $5 million dollars per episode.
Money is not a problem for Apple, so it's interesting to see them come in at such a conservative angle. If all goes as planned for the tech giant, it can be guaranteed that the company will pump more money into productions with an endless stream of cash constantly flowing in. Basically Apple has the power to pull off ambitious projects with big name directors and actors and may even pull off theatrical releases to be eligible for Academy Awards, which is something that Netflix has been wrestling with currently.
Netflix is in the hole to the tune of $20 billion dollars, which is a problem that Apple is likely not to run into, barring some kind of catastrophic event. It appears as if Apple is already on the right track, just testing the waters before jumping into a huge production and having it sink. It will definitely be interesting to see where Apple measures up next to Amazon, Netflix, and HBO with their original content since Apple has quite a bit more cash than HBO, Amazon, and Netflix. But does money equal creativity? Just because you can pay for the best, doesn't mean you'll end up with the best results every time. One thing is for sure: People are going to be watching Apple very closely, some hoping that the tech giant fails.