That's not the budget Apple's Eddy Cue was pitching two years ago.
From a note to clients by analyst Richard Greenfield that landed on my desktop Monday:
While Apple has been ramping up its content creation efforts (appear to be investing over $2 billion annually), the questions that have remained unanswered are where their content will live, how will consumers access it and how does creating content fit into their overall strategy.
While we have seen a ton of industry commentary around Apple’s plans, we remain confident that the blueprint we laid out in September 2018 is accurate (link):
We believe the go-to-market strategy will be to drive consumers globally to use the “TV” app found on their iOS and tvOS devices. We believe all a consumer will need to do is already own or buy an Apple device (iPhone, iPad or Apple TV) to have free access to all of the content Apple’s video team is creating. Think of Apple’s strategy along the lines of Prime Video, which is available at no extra cost in a bundle with an Amazon’s Prime two-day shipping account… Similar to Amazon Prime, the initial Apple content offering is just the beginning. Apple is hoping that consumers that come in for one of their original series will have interest in Game of Thrones on HBO, Power on Starz or Homeland on Showtime with one-click to sign up and start watching those shows within the “TV” app on iOS/tvOS devices - essentially mirroring the Amazon Channels strategy, which has been incredibly successful to-date.
My take: Sounds like a plan to me. Note, that this is not at all what Cue envisioned when he spoke two years ago at Code Media. He thought that what Apple would bring to the party was Planet of the Apps and interactive TV, not billions of dollars worth of star-driven original content.
Cue the video (pun unavoidable):