Apple earmarks more than $6B for Apple TV+ shows in push to catch competitors

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited August 19
A report on Monday claims Apple's budget for Apple TV+ has ballooned to more than $6 billion as it invests in an original content library to compete against streaming stalwarts.




Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times reports Apple's Worldwide Video division, headed by industry veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, has far surpassed its original allowance in a bid to catch up with Netflix, Disney and HBO. Apple was initially expected to lay down $1 billion to produce and secure rights to new content.

Netflix, which has competed against broadcast television and cable companies for years, owns a substantial catalog with hit franchises, popular movies and award-winning programming. The company is anticipated to spend some $15 billion on new content this year.

Disney will enter the streaming game this November with Disney+, a product offering access to the entertainment company's entire back catalog including rare "Disney Vault" titles and assets reaped from its recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Disney is also creating new series based on its Marvel and Star Wars properties.

Apple is reportedly dipping into its significant holdings in a bid to even the playing field. The iPhone maker spent hundreds of millions of dollars on "The Morning Show," a series based on Brian Stelter's novel "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV," sources said. Starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, who also executive produce, per-episode costs of the "Morning Show" are said to exceed those of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

In July, reports claimed Apple was spending just as much on Jason Momoa vehicle "See," which saw its budget top out at $15 million per episode.

Apple's spending spree has shifted the going rate for television shows, the report said, citing industry executives.

According to the report, Apple's payout structure differs from Netflix. Whereas Netflix pays creators over a period of years, Apple doles out cash early in the process as productions meet certain milestones, sources said.

Apple TV+ is due to launch sometime this fall, though the company has yet to reveal an exact launch date or pricing details. Today's report claims the service will roll out within the next two months.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    I think that it is great that Apple is committing wholeheartedly to its services push. Another source of quality content, other than HBO, Netflix, et al, is going to be great for viewers.

    However, I hope that Apple is focusing on quality content... Making a big monetary bet on a few shows is not going to automatically translate into a blockbuster hit like Game of Thrones. Apple's recent services such as News+, have not felt like they received the traditional Apple attention to detail before they were shoved out to the public. If Apple repeats the same mistakes with TV+ they will lose the public's confidence like they did after the Maps fiasco. 

    Anyway, the few trailers that have been released are looking promising... I am looking forward to trying out the streaming service.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    I seriously have to wonder how on earth Morning Show could cost as much per episode as Game of Thrones. Like, sure it looks like it'll be a good show, but come on. Celebrities shouldn't be worth that much. Game of Thrones had a HUGE cast, need for locations and CGI and... Morning show has three big names. That said I am glad that they're not choosing to go with really cheap crappy content as people assumed based on Planet of the Apps.
    lolliverJapheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    irelandireland Posts: 17,670member
    35 TV Shows and counting.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    irelandireland Posts: 17,670member
    Flytrap said:
    I think that it is great that Apple is committing wholeheartedly to its services push. Another source of quality content, other than HBO, Netflix, et al, is going to be great for viewers.

    However, I hope that Apple is focusing on quality content... Making a big monetary bet on a few shows is not going to automatically translate into a blockbuster hit like Game of Thrones. Apple's recent services such as News+, have not felt like they received the traditional Apple attention to detail before they were shoved out to the public. If Apple repeats the same mistakes with TV+ they will lose the public's confidence like they did after the Maps fiasco. 

    Anyway, the few trailers that have been released are looking promising... I am looking forward to trying out the streaming service.
    The only way to know if a show is enjoyable is to watch it. But I’m certainly looking for an excuse to quit the increasingly rubbish service that is Netflix. I’m more a movie man than a TV show watcher anyway, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens.
    edited August 19 radarthekatphilboogiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Fly
    Flytrap said:
    Apple's recent services such as News+, have not felt like they received the traditional Apple attention to detail .
    What "attention to detail" are you talking about? Most of the many Apple services I still use show little of that. Case in point: music is just dramatic. I could list literally *hundreds* of flaws and inconsistencies in it, and discovering new ones almost daily. With the miserable navigation tools provided, you can't, for example, even type *one* wrong letter in the name of the artist you are searching for!, much less recycle your search in a different context or added words (while at the info service that Music is linked to, allmusic.com, you never end typing your search since the site is already giving correct results). Then Apple has the audacity to pontificate about an intelligent AI-driven Siri (no comments...). And, btw, how bold is Apple to launch a high bandwidth video service, while they have refused, for two decades now, to stream lossless music (even as a surcharge, that I would gladly pay), while that would mean a tiny fraction of the network stress of streaming 4K video... Regarding TV+: I may tell you the international experience of it, but please wait me some 5-10 yrs for that: I'm still waiting for: Stores, Pay, News, HomePod, and about half of the other goodies Apple has introduced, some as far as 5 yrs ago. And yet, my Apple monthly bill is approaching US$100 for all this mediocrity: mostly iCloud storage (a must they force users to), and movie rentals that need countless time to select each time from such limited choices, as content here (and the awful navigation provided by the TV box) seems to be much more limited than in USA.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,457member
    mieswall said:
    Fly
    Flytrap said:
    Apple's recent services such as News+, have not felt like they received the traditional Apple attention to detail .
    What "attention to detail" are you talking about? Most of the many Apple services I still use show little of that. Case in point: music is just dramatic. I could list literally *hundreds* of flaws and inconsistencies in it, and discovering new ones almost daily. With the miserable navigation tools provided, you can't, for example, even type *one* wrong letter in the name of the artist you are searching for!, much less recycle your search in a different context or added words (while at the info service that Music is linked to, allmusic.com, you never end typing your search since the site is already giving correct results). Then Apple has the audacity to pontificate about an intelligent AI-driven Siri (no comments...). And, btw, how bold is Apple to launch a high bandwidth video service, while they have refused, for two decades now, to stream lossless music (even as a surcharge, that I would gladly pay), while that would mean a tiny fraction of the network stress of streaming 4K video... Regarding TV+: I may tell you the international experience of it, but please wait me some 5-10 yrs for that: I'm still waiting for: Stores, Pay, News, HomePod, and about half of the other goodies Apple has introduced, some as far as 5 yrs ago. And yet, my Apple monthly bill is approaching US$100 for all this mediocrity: mostly iCloud storage (a must they force users to), and movie rentals that need countless time to select each time from such limited choices, as content here (and the awful navigation provided by the TV box) seems to be much more limited than in USA.
    Yeah, search on Apple devices just doesn't work. Try searching in your own iTunes library; a complete cringeworthy experience.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    FatmanFatman Posts: 314member
    $6 billion is insane and a colossal waste of money. This money could be used to fix a lot of broken things ... Siri, Apple maps, adding more SSD storage to Macbooks, fix watch OS, fix MacBook keyboards, fix the Apple TV remote (see Amazon fire remote buttons if you need guidance), lower the prices of HomePod & Apple TV. Instead they’re going to waste it on has-been stars in (probably lame) sitcoms - I hope I’m wrong. These Hollywood SOBs really know how to rip off Apple. 
  • Reply 8 of 10
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,078member
    Fatman said:
    $6 billion is insane and a colossal waste of money. This money could be used to fix a lot of broken things ... Siri, Apple maps, adding more SSD storage to Macbooks, fix watch OS, fix MacBook keyboards, fix the Apple TV remote (see Amazon fire remote buttons if you need guidance), lower the prices of HomePod & Apple TV. Instead they’re going to waste it on has-been stars in (probably lame) sitcoms - I hope I’m wrong. These Hollywood SOBs really know how to rip off Apple. 
    I don't claim to know what is Apple's plan so I would reserve my judgement until they release it. Also, how do you know Apple don't have funds/resources to improve their own existing problems (assuming there are an actual problems - not just minor complaints just because one doesn't like their design).
    paul hurtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    I'm not sure a pile of untested shows will be enough to bring subscribers to Apple+, considering the strength of the existing and the emerging competition. Could Apple not get out there and try to pick up some existing shows? Case in point - it would be a very smart move if Apple made an offer for Netflix's "The OA", which Netflix have cancelled on a huge cliffhanger after just two seasons of a planned five season run. It's critically acclaimed, incredibly binge-worthy, has a sizeable fan base who will subscribe to Apple+ in a flash if it means their favourite show can live on, and embodies all the creative values that Apple loves. Regardless of the star power involved in Apple+, I imagine it will be tough to launch a new streaming service on the back of a bunch of untested shows, especially when Disney are doing precisely the opposite (lots of already beloved properties) for (apparently) a lower monthly subscription fee. There are only so many streaming services that consumers will shell out for at once, and I worry that Apple could find themselves at the bottom of that pile without some established shows to draw people in.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Apple TV+ strong focus on family and kids programming content could backfire.  These is a lot of that on every weekend Sunday morning programming and observing what the kids(7-12) tune into is not their science and nature kids shows.
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