Report: To compete with Disney and Netflix, Apple’s initial $1 billion investment in original programming has swelled to $6 billion.
From the Financial Times’ “Apple splashes $6bn on new shows in streaming wars” ($):
The company has spent hundreds of millions of dollars alone on a star-studded series featuring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell called The Morning Show. According to people familiar with the matter, that amounts to a higher price per episode than Game of Thrones, which reportedly cost $15m for each episode of its final season.
The Morning Show ranks alongside science fiction drama See, which features Aquaman star Jason Momoa and is written by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, as one of the most expensive shows on Apple’s slate.
Apple is looking to build a library of original programming to take on more established competitors such as Netflix. While Apple’s budget remains well below Netflix’s expected cash content spending of $15bn this year, its more generous payment terms are helping it to win deals in Hollywood.
Unlike Netflix, which often pays content creators over several years, Apple pays earlier in the production process, once certain milestones are hit, according to people familiar with its approach.
My take: Good scoop. I speculated that the budget had grown significantly, but I never guessed it had grown sixfold.