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WSJ, Variety

Whoa! Apple Set to Spend a Billion Dollars on Original Programming

Aug 16, 2017  •  Post A Comment

Apple appears to be poised to become a major player in Hollywood, with a budget reported at about $1 billion for original TV and film content over the next year.

The Wall Street Journal broke the story today, citing anonymous sources. The Journal story is behind a pay wall, but Variety and others have picked up the story.

The Journal report suggests that Apple could pick up as many as 10 high-end TV series, noting that Apple execs have already begun the process of shopping the agencies for content.

Variety notes that Apple’s hefty budget still falls well short of some of the competition.

“Netflix, the subscription streaming-video leader, plans to spend $7 billion on content next year (up from $6 billion in 2016), while analysts peg Amazon’s spending on programming for Prime Video at around $4.5 billion for 2017,” Variety reports. “Time Warner’s HBO spends around $2 billion per year on content.”

Variety also notes: “Already, Apple has signaled its aims to become a significant Hollywood player with the hiring of Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht — longtime presidents at Sony Pictures Television — in June. The duo behind such hits as ‘The Blacklist,’ ‘The Goldbergs,’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ are tasked with building a slate of world-class content for Apple. And this week the company revealed that it has tapped Matt Cherniss, ex-G.M. of WGN America and Tribune Studios, to head development for the original entertainment group.”

 

One Comment

  1. The mention of Time Warner’s HBO brings up an issue that has been overlooked in these discussions. Silently in the background, chasing Apple, Amazon and Netflix is AT&T. If AT&T concludes its purchase of Time Warner, it suddenly becomes a major player in entertainment; and with DirecTV and its cable and cell networks, it also controls a major distribution advantage the others don’t.

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