Apple Investing $1 Billion in Original Programming, Too Little Too Late?

Apple original programming

Apple is putting together its plan of getting into original programming, and has set aside about $1 billion to execute its plan by 2018: Procure and Produce.

The amount includes licensing and producing content by 2018, and the projected plan is to launch ten new shows by then. While the amount is only fifty percent of what HBO spent on production last year, it shows Apple’s seriousness in generating original content. Other rivals like Netflix are expected to spend upwards of $60 billion this year.

The iPhone maker is already looking at Augmented Reality as the next level of innovation, but recent news reports show that the company is also seriously looking at original video content for its Apple Music platform. As a part of its efforts to be successful in the online video space, the company is focusing on original content, now considered a prerequisite for success.

Apple already created some original programming in the past, but it wasn’t widely or well accepted. It includes programs like Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke.

Apple may not spend all the money on original programming, but will also look at acquiring rights and hiring the best talent from the entertainment industry. Like its rivals, Apple on-boarded a few key personnel since 2015 towards making its own video content. Recently, two Sony executives joined the video content family to handle video strategy and content acquisition, and the company is still looking for more hires to produce a hit show that can stand up against the Game of Thrones of the world. Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who played a significant role in the development of hits like Breaking Bad and Outlander, are now part of Apple video content team.

Amazon recently announced that Robert Kirkman was joining the team from AMC, and Netflix hired Shonda Lynn Rhimes and Betsy Beers, the minds behind hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, as well as Joel and Ethan Coen, who will produce a new series for the company.

Apple’s plan to invest in original programming is to boost its services business, as its rental and sales business is down, and that market itself has dropped to 35 percent from 50 percent in 2012.

With SVOD (streaming video on demand) leaders like Netflix investing in the tens of billions of dollars towards original programming, is a paltry billion dollars from the world’s most valuable company too little and too late? Apple appears to be very serious about this project – with the cute ‘Procure and Produce’ name and all that – but that kind of money won’t get you far if you’re intent on creating hits. Or will it be ‘hit and miss’ yet again?

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