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Apple Sets Aside '$1 Billion War Chest' for Hollywood Programming

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Apple has earmarked $1 billion to acquire and produce original television content over the next year to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The plans could see Apple procure and produce as many as 10 television shows, according to people familiar with the matter, thanks to a budget figure that is about half of what Time Warner's HBO spent on content last year and around the same amount as Amazon spent in 2013, after it announced its own move into original programming.


The budget will reportedly be controlled by Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were hired by Apple in June from Sony to oversee content acquisition and video strategy. Apple also recently hired former WGN America President Matt Cherniss to oversee development of the company's worldwide video unit. Cherniss previously worked with Erlicht and Van Amburg to bring the Sony shows "Underground" and "Outsiders" to WGN.
Mr. Van Amburg and Mr. Erlicht have begun meeting with Hollywood agents and holding discussions about shows Apple could acquire, the people familiar said. Mr. Matt Cherniss has movie experience, having worked as a production executive at Warner Bros.
WSJ notes that not only will Apple have a fight on its hands going up against rivals already heavily invested in original content, but it will also have to avoid jeopardizing its 15 percent cut of subscriptions from its App Store for services like Netflix and HBO GO.

As for the cost of programming, this can vary widely, from more than $2 million an episode for a comedy to more than $5 million for a drama, while high-end shows such as "Game of Thrones" can cost over $10 million per episode to produce.

For its video service to gain traction, Apple needs at least one hit, according to the people familiar with the plan who spoke to the newspaper. The company's initial video efforts include "Planet of the Apps", which was launched in June on Apple Music, and "Carpool Karaoke," which was launched last week. Apple has not revealed ratings for the shows but both have been criticized by reviewers.

Apple is hoping its efforts in original programming will bolster the appeal of iTunes movie rentals and other offerings through the store. Last year, iTunes generated an estimated $4.1 billion in revenue, but its share of the movie rental-and-sales market has declined to less than 35 percent from 50 percent in 2012, according to the report.

Article Link: Apple Sets Aside '$1 Billion War Chest' for Hollywood Programming
 

Avieshek

Suspended
Dec 7, 2013
701
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India
I vote & welcome Apple for this. Competition to Netflix?
This will put Apple to reality with the customer and the real world.
 
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Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
1,990
1,649
Well so far everything they have produced has been complete crap.

Would be a good idea to add an extra few zeroes, make it $10bn and actually hire decent people the shows, as the production AND plot of the stuff we have seen so far is boring and cheap.
 
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cardfan

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2012
2,792
3,651
Umm..nope. Boost content on itunes to 4k. To make an apple streaming package viable as an apple service only, it'd have to offer some compelling baked in features.

Hulu live tv is a mess. Tried it for a week and felt like strangling myself. They want 63 a month for that garbage? DirectvNow is slightly better but only slightly. I do feel like Apple could step in and make something much better but I dunno..buy TIVO or something. They need a guide and some kind of UI that's not a PIA.
[doublepost=1502883516][/doublepost]Coming soon...10 dollar 4k itunes movie rentals. Apple really wants to boost that. Please rent. Oh, here's an original episode of Planet of the Apps...free with your purchase..
 
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alexgowers

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2012
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I wish them luck. I love amazon prime and Netflix but they’re a duopoly and there is far more room for streaming video services every year as more people cable cut and internet speeds rise.

I personally think Apple should be a copycat service at first. Buying rights and making original content and then going further with full cable package options to really enable cable cutting and shaking things up.

Knowing Apple though their strategy will be to approach it as if they’ve solved some problem that doesn’t exists, like they always do. They’ll claim It’s a revolutionary TV service and make it another standalone fee to add to the long list of things you have to pay for when everyone else combines them into one service.

I’m personally still reeling over the files app being borked in ios11 but iCloud Drive being fully functional file management. In effect forcing you to buy iCloud to use your own iPhone storage. I suspect Apple will once again make video a borked version with a paywall and **** us all somehow.
 
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yanksfan114

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2011
335
911
Until Apple hire people that know what they are doing they'll never compete with cable, satellite, online companies like Amazon and Netflix...

I'd suggest they start the spend with that.....

Wow you’re right! Idk why they didn’t think of this. I wonder if they should hire someone like, I don’t know, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg?
 
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Pilgrim1099

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Apr 30, 2008
1,109
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From the Midwest to the Northeast
Until Apple hire people that know what they are doing they'll never compete with cable, satellite, online companies like Amazon and Netflix...

I'd suggest they start the spend with that.....

They should've done that about 3 years ago. They're reacting to the Netflix growth. Apple's strategy of trying to be 'everything for everybody' is not working.
 
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xnu

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Jul 15, 2004
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FOCUS great Ficara & Requa Movie! Done on Final Cut... More of that.
 
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Pilgrim1099

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Apr 30, 2008
1,109
602
From the Midwest to the Northeast
I wish them luck. I love amazon prime and Netflix but they’re a duopoly and there is far more room for streaming video services every year as more people cable cut and internet speeds rise.

I personally think Apple should be a copycat service at first. Buying rights and making original content and then going further with full cable package options to really enable cable cutting and shaking things up.

Knowing Apple though their strategy will be to approach it as if they’ve solved some problem that doesn’t exists, like they always do. They’ll claim It’s a revolutionary TV service and make it another standalone fee to add to the long list of things you have to pay for when everyone else combines them into one service.

I’m personally still reeling over the files app being borked in ios11 but iCloud Drive being fully functional file management. In effect forcing you to buy iCloud to use your own iPhone storage. I suspect Apple will once again make video a borked version with a paywall and **** us all somehow.

The problem is that even if they do, it would be too late for them to make claims on revolutionizing tv. They said it themselves that the future in tv is apps. And that's right there on the Apple TV streaming box. For such programming to happen and succeed, they should've done this a few years ago. It's not about getting it right which is a BS excuse on their part in explaining away why they 'take their time'.

It's one thing to take the time to get it right but it's another to take too long to make it happen and then drop the ball.

And yes, they will always scheme to create a paywall for any service they create that's connected to AppleID.
 
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zahuh

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2004
179
1,024
Can you imagine if every show/ movie they make is about a feature? Hahhahhahah! Show names be like:

Beat Siri to naming a song
Are you faster than an airport base station?
Mail something before Mail
Go on a Safari
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,508
6,314
The company's initial video efforts include "Planet of the Apps", which was launched in June on Apple Music, and "Carpool Karaoke," which was launched last week.

Apple's initial video efforts like PotA compared to Netflix's initial original programing efforts, such as HoC shows a huge difference in quality.

To be fair, I haven't watch PotA, just trailers, but I think the trailer is pretty telling.

Maybe if Apple starts throwing money around, they might make something great.
 
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iReality85

Contributor
Apr 29, 2008
1,070
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Upstate NY
$1B is like a drop in the bucket compared to what other streaming services are spending on original content. Why not just up the ante and use some of that $200B war chest to just buy out Netflix or some other service? Would seem like a better investment.
 
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