Apple to spend $1B on original content for up to 10 new TV shows over next year

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple is reportedly budgeting about $1 billion to secure and produce original video over the course of the next year, a figure which may soon make it a competitive force in that arena.




The company could put out as many as 10 TV shows, sources told the Wall Street Journal. The money is expected to be controlled by Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony Pictures Television executives Apple hired in June.

Another important player is former WGN America president Matt Cherniss, who Apple just recently hired to oversee its video unit and should be operating under Erlicht and Van Amburg.

The latter two people have reportedly been meeting with Hollywood agents, and talking about shows the company could buy.

Apple's rumored budget is roughly what Amazon spent in 2013 when it launched its first original shows. It's still, however, about half what HBO spent in 2016, making it unlikely that the company will directly tackle industry stalwarts, at least at first.

The first original TV shows for Apple Music -- "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke" -- have been relatively modest efforts, in scale if not the stars attached. They've also had a lukewarm reception, which may help to explain Apple's recent recruitment and willingness to invest.

The kinds of shows Apple might be aiming for are unknown, but the company is likely to branch out of reality TV given the pull of fictional shows like "Game of Thrones," "The Handmaid's Tale," and "Stranger Things."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    Hopefully top management won't be giving the final thumbs-up/thumbs-down on TV content, or they should expect more lukewarm reviews from the public. Apple may have to take some "uncomfortable" risks to make this work.

    Also... One BILLION DOLLARS for 10 shows amounts to $100 million per show developed (!), which seems like some really bad math. For one thing, so-called "reality shows" are made on the cheap for a reason, and costly shows like Game of Thrones reportedly cost upward of $6 million dollars per episode... an entire season certainly doesn't cost $100 million! Someone should already be fired over that budget unless they're actually buying up movie studios.

    https://m.mic.com/articles/87169/here-s-how-much-it-costs-to-make-a-game-of-thrones-episode#.oiL1RLxfl
    edited August 2017 patchythepiratetallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 21
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 217member
    I still think reviving fan favorites that the networks have given up on is the way to go.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    smaffei said:
    I still think reviving fan favorites that the networks have given up on is the way to go.
    That would be a safe path and a near-guaranteed audience would be the result. 
    smaffei
  • Reply 4 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,071member
    The idea makes sense to me as long as they can avoid regulatory issues down the road and not waste the money. I don't rule out Apple trying to get into the delivery sector at some point.

    The key will be the quality and keeping it consistent in a market that is already saturated. If they can do it and break even in the short term, then great. Anything above that would be a plus.
  • Reply 5 of 21
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    It looks like Eddy Cue is going to have his very own Karaoke show!

    >:x
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Either they go all in or not at all..half assing would be a disaster. $1B investment, looks like Apple is going all in. That's a good sign.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 7 of 21
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 217member
    smaffei said:
    I still think reviving fan favorites that the networks have given up on is the way to go.
    That would be a safe path and a near-guaranteed audience would be the result. 
    I would love to see the critically acclaimed Agent Carter get a second life via Apple.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 8 of 21
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 21
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,930member
    sog35 said:
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    who thought Apple could make world class wireless headphones?

    don't be so narrow minded.
    After buying up Beats it shouldn't have surprised anyone that good wireless earbuds would come eventually. 
  • Reply 11 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,071member
    mr o said:
    It looks like Eddy Cue is going to have his very own Karaoke show!

    >:x
    And it will be called 'Cue Eddy!' Fiendish!
  • Reply 12 of 21
    toddzrxtoddzrx Posts: 199member
    smaffei said:
    I still think reviving fan favorites that the networks have given up on is the way to go.
    Actually, that's an excellent idea.  Streaming TV is great for niche genres.  I'm making my way through the Marvel TV shows on Netflix.  The acting and overall quality of the shows is really good, and I of course enjoy the fact that I can watch them wherever and whenever.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,147member
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    In this aspect, Apple will really never have a massive hit on its hands if it doesn’t open up the way you can watch them. With any other show that’s a massive hit, you can watch it on whatever you want with whatever you want.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Netflix that can be seen on practically anything you want, Roku, AppleTV, smartTV or anything else. 


  • Reply 14 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,811member
    smaffei said:
    I still think reviving fan favorites that the networks have given up on is the way to go.
    Let's get the band back together again.

    although for some reason I am geeking out at the thought of moar Firefly.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    I'm torn, but I tend to agree it's not Apple's core competency which means distraction. That said, however, I'm supportive of any idea that starts to break up the control network television has on the medium. The programmes that have been produced by Netflix, HBO and Amazon in the past few years have been so vastly different (and hugely refreshing) from the duplicative and dumbed-down, sterile, moralising crap that is typical (mind-numbing) network television, such that more of the new kind (assuming Apple opts for that model and not the old network model with a lead-out/lead-in commercial interruption in the performance every 10 minutes or so) can't be a totally bad thing. I just hope they decide to push the envelope and not take that safe, dull route ("only do what's been done before, only be moralising and nothing real, except of course reality television").
  • Reply 16 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    In this aspect, Apple will really never have a massive hit on its hands if it doesn’t open up the way you can watch them. With any other show that’s a massive hit, you can watch it on whatever you want with whatever you want.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Netflix that can be seen on practically anything you want, Roku, AppleTV, smartTV or anything else. 


    If Apple has a massive hit then folks will buy an apple device to watch just like they subscribe to HBO to get GoT.

    There's certainly enough installed base of Apple devices to reach a vast audience...and it's not like Apple has less money to spend to lock people into their ecosystem than Amazon.  Heck, I have Prime but hardly ever watch their content.  I should just drop Netflix but I like it better.


  • Reply 17 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,930member
    nht said:
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    In this aspect, Apple will really never have a massive hit on its hands if it doesn’t open up the way you can watch them. With any other show that’s a massive hit, you can watch it on whatever you want with whatever you want.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Netflix that can be seen on practically anything you want, Roku, AppleTV, smartTV or anything else. 


    If Apple has a massive hit then folks will buy an apple device to watch just like they subscribe to HBO to get GoT.

    There's certainly enough installed base of Apple devices to reach a vast audience...and it's not like Apple has less money to spend to lock people into their ecosystem than Amazon.  Heck, I have Prime but hardly ever watch their content.  I should just drop Netflix but I like it better.


    Prime of course has lots of other benefits even if you never stream their video content. I'm not sure I would chosen an Apple TV myself, and certainly not if I had to have paid full-retail for one considering it's fairly limited use cases at the moment compared to my now-preferred streamer. I still have the Apple TV but very rarely see it used. It's currently residing in my son's bedroom but he's asked several times if he could get something different. 
  • Reply 18 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    gatorguy said:
    nht said:
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    In this aspect, Apple will really never have a massive hit on its hands if it doesn’t open up the way you can watch them. With any other show that’s a massive hit, you can watch it on whatever you want with whatever you want.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Netflix that can be seen on practically anything you want, Roku, AppleTV, smartTV or anything else. 


    If Apple has a massive hit then folks will buy an apple device to watch just like they subscribe to HBO to get GoT.

    There's certainly enough installed base of Apple devices to reach a vast audience...and it's not like Apple has less money to spend to lock people into their ecosystem than Amazon.  Heck, I have Prime but hardly ever watch their content.  I should just drop Netflix but I like it better.


    Prime of course has lots of other benefits even if you never stream their video content. I'm not sure I would chosen an Apple TV myself, and certainly not if I had to have paid full-retail for one considering it's fairly limited use cases at the moment compared to my now-preferred streamer. I still have the Apple TV but very rarely see it used. It's currently residing in my son's bedroom but he's asked several times if he could get something different. 
    What aTV needs is unique content.  Like TV shows...and AAA games.

    If Apple spent $1B on game titles for an A11 based $250 apple TV w/a single controller...
  • Reply 19 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,334member
    nht said:
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    In this aspect, Apple will really never have a massive hit on its hands if it doesn’t open up the way you can watch them. With any other show that’s a massive hit, you can watch it on whatever you want with whatever you want.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Netflix that can be seen on practically anything you want, Roku, AppleTV, smartTV or anything else. 


    If Apple has a massive hit then folks will buy an apple device to watch just like they subscribe to HBO to get GoT.

    There's certainly enough installed base of Apple devices to reach a vast audience...and it's not like Apple has less money to spend to lock people into their ecosystem than Amazon.  Heck, I have Prime but hardly ever watch their content.  I should just drop Netflix but I like it better.


    I seriously doubt Apple is prepared to give the go-ahead to put their name on adult entertainment like Game of Thrones. HBO is known for offering cutting edge entertainment you can't see anywhere else. That's not in Apple's DNA. Maybe if they bought or created a name brand they could use, like Disney did with Touchstone, or Marvel.

    "Apple After Dark"


    edited August 2017
  • Reply 20 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    nht said:
    interdyne said:
    This is a terrible idea. This is not what Apple does well.
    Like phones and music players and watches? Not that you’re wrong at all; I agree with you completely.
    In this aspect, Apple will really never have a massive hit on its hands if it doesn’t open up the way you can watch them. With any other show that’s a massive hit, you can watch it on whatever you want with whatever you want.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Netflix that can be seen on practically anything you want, Roku, AppleTV, smartTV or anything else. 


    If Apple has a massive hit then folks will buy an apple device to watch just like they subscribe to HBO to get GoT.

    There's certainly enough installed base of Apple devices to reach a vast audience...and it's not like Apple has less money to spend to lock people into their ecosystem than Amazon.  Heck, I have Prime but hardly ever watch their content.  I should just drop Netflix but I like it better.


    I seriously doubt Apple is prepared to give the go-ahead to put their name on adult entertainment like Game of Thrones. HBO is known for offering cutting edge entertainment you can't see anywhere else. That's not in Apple's DNA. Maybe if they bought or created a name brand they could use, like Disney did with Touchstone, or Marvel.
    I used GoT as the current example.  Lost did well on primetime.  West Wing, Law and Order, NCIS, ER, Buffy, etc.

    So programming doesn't have to be "adult" and even it did you can buy Rome, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and even Game of Thrones (all TV-MA) on iTunes and as you say, a separate brand is pretty easy to create.  I think Apple can go PG-13 level pretty easily...that's Star Wars Rogue 1...
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