Anyone closely following the video content space knows that in 2017, original content is king. The rise of Netflix has been boosted, in no small part, by the massive success of their original shows and other services are ready to make a bid for Netflix’s crown. The latest contender? Apple.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, Apple is breaking into their substantial war chest as they prepare to dive headfirst into the world of original video content. Over the next year the tech giant hopes to create 10 original shows using a staggering $1 billion budget.
While the market for original content is crowded, Apple is in a unique position to make an impact in the industry. They don’t have to create a new service to disseminate their content, they already have iTunes. They don’t need to spend millions of marketing dollars building brand cache, they are Apple. They don’t need to worry about the cost of producing content that can keep up in an oversaturated market, their budget is a billion dollars.
While a billion dollar investment is substantial enough to show that Apple is taking this venture seriously, it’s not enough to catapult them to the top. By comparison, HBO spent $2 billion on content in 2016 and Netflix is on track to spend close to $6 billion on content during 2017. Original content isn’t cheap –- Game of Thrones is reportedly costing HBO close to $10 million per episode.
Apple isn’t going into this completely blind, they have already backed a few original content projects such as Carpool Karaoke and the reality show Planet of the Apes but neither have grown into the cult hits the company was hoping for. Will a billion dollars be enough for Apple to disrupt yet another industry? Time will tell.