Industry: Apple announces $1 billion annual commitment to original video content
The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Apple intends to invest over $1 billion acquiring and producing original TV shows over the next year, resulting in as many as a dozen new shows. Industry insiders attribute the investment to Apple's desire to compete with traditional cable networks such as HBO and new media giants including Netflix, Amazon and the emerging Hulu. In a crowded space, broadcasters are competing for lucrative deals and original hits. Previously, Apple primarily rented TV shows and movies through iTunes, however that model has been challenged in recent years as more consumers now participate in subscription services. A $1 billion investment will put Apple on par with the production spend of Amazon, yet a far cry from that of Netflix at $6 billion. Poaching a pair of executives from Sony recently to lead their digital content division, Apple is clearly on the hunt for their own critically acclaimed show. With a single Game of Thrones episode rumored to cost $10 million, it will be interesting to watch as Apple's strategy unfolds. Regardless of it it's a few blockbusters or a volume of less expensive dramas and comedies, one thing is for sure; LA's production industry can only benefit. Bring it on Apple!