Apple to spend £1bn on original content

Apple is set to invest $1 billion (€855m) in producing and procuring original content over the next year, according to a report in The WSJ. The investment could result in as many as 10 new shows, with the tech giant looking to match the output of networks such as HBO.

Apple previously focused on renting TV shows and movies through iTunes, but this business has been faltering due the rise of subscription services. The company’s share of the movie rental-and-sales market is estimated to have dropped from 50 per cent in 2012 to less than 35 per cent in 2017.

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, the Sony TV veterans Apple poached in June, started work in early August and have taken over video production responsibilities from the Apple Music team. The execs have reportedly already held meetings with several Hollywood studios to find shows to acquire.

In comparison, HBO spent about $2 billion on content last year, while Amazon spent around $1 billion in 2013, the year after it first delved into original programming. Netflix, meanwhile, is expected to spend more than $6 billion in 2017.

Apple already produces some original content including US reality show Planet of the Apps, and James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, but they haven’t been particularly well received.

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