The biggest tech company in the world has set its sights on Hollywood in a major way.
Apple is ready to spend $1 billion in the next year on original television and streaming content, with the tech behemoth instantly muscling its way to the increasingly crowded programming table, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The billion-dollar earmark is for up to 10 shows, with Apple aiming for content like “House of Cards” from Netflix. Apple tapped former Sony chiefs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its original programming in June, with the duo behind prestige shows like “Breaking Bad,” and “The Crown.”
Apple’s commitment is a drop in the bucket for the company — which has more than $250 billion in cash at its disposal. It also pales in comparison to the amount other studios are spending. Amazon is projected to spend $4.5 billion this year on content, and HBO spent $2 billion last year.
The Cupertino, California-based company has started to dip its toes into the original content water under CEO Tim Cook, to mixed results. It’s “Carpool Karaoke” spinoff debuted this month with “Late Late Show” host James Corden, and its “Planet of the Apps” series — similar to “Shark Tank” — was ridiculed, despite the star power of Jessica Alba and Will.i.am.
With Facebook ready to launch dozens of shows on its new “Watch” tab this month, and Netflix planning to spend up to 50 percent of its budget on original programming by 2020, the tech entertainment war is just starting to unfold.