Apple is reportedly tooling up for the increasingly furious fight over original video content with a $1 billion budget for the next year.
On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported the allocation based on an unnamed source, while noting that the iPhone and iPad maker’s reach could also help it become a serious player in this competitive field. The WSJ‘s sources indicated that Apple was planning to buy and produce 10 TV shows.
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Apple will certainly need to make the most of its distribution capabilities, as other big online video players are spending a lot more to attract the hottest new films and TV series into their respective stables.
Amazon’s 2017 video investment is in the region of $4.5 billion, per estimates released earlier this year by JPMorgan analysts. Netflix, meanwhile, is spending $6 billion this year on original content, and Time Warner’s HBO is shelling out around $2 billion.
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Apple has already dipped its toes into the waters of original content with two shows, James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke and the app-development reality show Planet of the Apps.
The company recently poached two Sony executives to handle video strategy and content acquisition. While at Sony, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg were partly responsible for the development of hits such as Breaking Bad and Outlander.
Original content is becoming a prerequisite for success in the online video world. As the WSJ piece noted, iTunes has a declining share of the market for video rental and sales—it had half the market five years ago, but below 35 percent last year.