Apple reportedly plans to invest $1 billion in purchasing original TV shows over the next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The technology giant has expressed interest in acquiring around ten high quality shows to match its output with networks like HBO.
Apple is not the only company interested in acquiring original hit shows, with the demand of the market for original content being at an all-time high. Both new and traditional broadcasters are competing with one another for a chance to land popular shows. Although they don’t currently have any primetime shows on their roster, Apple has previously focused on renting TV shows and movies through iTunes. Recently, they have produced original content like “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke,” but those shows haven’t done nearly as well as Apple anticipated. Over the years, however, online-streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix have deflated any interest in renting shows or movies from the iTunes store. The company’s share of the movie rental-and-sales market dropped from 50 percent in 2012 to less than 35 percent as of late.
The question everyone appears to be thinking is whether or not Apple will splash their cash on upcoming projects. With a $1 billion-dollar budget, it seems as if funds are the least of their worries; but to put it into perspective, HBO spent around $2 billion on content in the last year and Amazon spent around $1 billion in 2013. These numbers are rather inferior to online-streaming site Netflix, which spent more than $6 billion in original programming in 2017. It is expensive to create show episodes, with hits like “Game of Thrones” costing upwards of $10 million per episode. Of course, the cost per episode of a show varies depending on the genre, context, and layout of the show itself, but nonetheless, the average cost is almost always in the millions.
Apple is in the right market at the right time, but they will be hard pressed to succeed in pursuing the shows they feel will attract the most attention and viewers. It seems impossible to land a show as big or successful as “Game of Thrones,” but perhaps Apple will surprise us all.