Apple Earmarks $1 Billion For Original Content In 2018

Social Media Week

The tech giant is looking to ramp up efforts to compete with the likes of rivals including Netflix, HBO and Amazon.

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Apple has officially gone Hollywood, setting aside $1 billion to develop original programming in 2018.

According to Mashable, Apple is planning around at least 10 different shows. These efforts will be led by former Sony Pictures Television presidents, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. While with Sony, the two were behind widely popular hits including “Breaking Bad” and “Outlander,” among others.

Details have yet to be revealed as to where and how we can expect to watch these shows, but one possible guess might be Apple Music, where the company’s first two shows, “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” debuted. Though feedback from critics surrounding this initial attempt was not what Apple had hoped for, it remains unwavered in its confidence. If anything, the company seems to have more passion as it looks to make a powerful second effort in establishing a name for itself in the streaming space.

Aside from a desire to redeem itself, Apple’s original content efforts could boost the appeal for movie rentals through core iTunes offerings and services such as App Store, Apple Pay and Apple Music. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company once held half the market for video rentals and purchases five years ago, but this has since declined to 35 percent as of last year.

While $1 billion seems like a heavy investment, Apple’s budget is notably less than that of its main competitors. For reference, Netflix is expected to dole out $6 billion on original content this year, with Amazon coming in close (ish) behind at approximately $4.5 billion, followed by HBO at $2 million.

Of course, if Apple decides to slot more cash against original programming, cash is certainly something they have in abundance. Last year, Apple raked in more than $215 billion in revenue and has more than in cash on its balance sheet.

Regardless of what the outcome will be, what is definitive today is that the digital era has reached a point in which if you wish to become and remain a player when it comes to online video, the name of the game is original content. Look no further than Facebook’s recently released Watch platform for further evidence of this trend.

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SMW Staff

SMW News, Social Media Week


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