Video is quickly becoming the dominant form of content for consumers and companies to invest in, and a recent move by Apple is all but confirming the trend.
The massive technology company has reportedly set a budget of almost $1 billion to purchase and create original content over the next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple is the largest company in the world, and with its clout and ingrained distribution service, this investment may immediately make waves within the streaming and video delivery ecosystem. The market is fairly crowded already though, with options like Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and even Disney’s soon-to-come streaming service.
To compare that $1 billion investment to other companies, HBO spent about half that amount last year and they have some of the most successful shows in history, such as Game of Thrones. This still pales in comparison to Netflix, as the company will spend over $7 billion for original and acquired programming next year
According to sources familiar with the plan, Apple may produce up to 10 unique television shows. The company’s senior vice president Eddy Cue has previously shared a vision to offer high-quality TV to Apple subscribers, but there is no word on how the subscription would work. It could be included in an Apple Music bundle or be a standalone option.
The billion-dollar budget is in the hands of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives hired by Apple a few months ago to oversee content acquisition.
“Jamie and Zack are two of the most talented TV executives in the world and have been instrumental in making this the golden age of television,” Eddy Cue told Variety in June.
Something Apple has to keep in mind is that if they were to release a subscription-based streaming service, it might mean their 15 per cent cut from other video services like Netflix and HBO Go could be in trouble.
Although, Apple will need a critically acclaimed hit to launch their service with. The company recently released two series already via Apple Music, “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” both of which were panned by reviewers. Apple will need something like Netflix’s flagship “House of Cards” to really gain relevance in a populous environment.
The best takeaway from these reports is that the average TV fan is probably feeling like they are in the finest original content age for the medium in history. Billion dollar companies are fighting with one another to gain a foothold in the video world and producing superb content for everyone to enjoy. All we have to do is make some popcorn and couch surf this wave until it ends.